NFL draft: the best quarterbacks

As we approach the NFL draft, We Sport offers you five players per position who should animate the nights of April 29 and 30. Today, the quarterbacks!

Trevor Lawrence (Clemson – Junior)

Trevor Lawrence has long been heralded as the No.1 pick. (Photo credits: Chris Graythen – Getty Images)

There is little room for doubt here. Regarding his position in the draft as his success in the NFL, Trevor Lawrence is unanimous among NCAA observers. The Clemson quarterback is even considered a generational talent by the site The Athletic. His comprehensive profile made him a highly anticipated player even before he arrived at college, and his selection to any position other than the first would be a huge surprise.  » I’ll say that’s the direction we’re going », Confessed to NBC Sports Urban Meyer, the coach of the Jaguars who will choose first in the draft. The power and precision of Trevor Lawrence’s arm, but also his athletic abilities, make him a player capable of immediately leading the attack of an NFL franchise. However, the native of Johnson City (Tennessee) has always had very high level partners within perfectly established offensive patterns. In a rebuilding team, he might therefore need time to adapt to adversity.

His statistics in 2020 (10 games): 3,153 yards, 24 touchdowns and 5 pass interceptions (69.2% completion); 203 yards and 8 touchdowns on the run

His NCAA stats (40 games): 10,098 yards, 90 touchdowns and 17 pass interceptions (66.6% completion); 943 yards and 18 touchdowns on the run

His achievements: national champion (2018, offensive MVP), ACC champion (2018, 2019, 2020), 2nd in the Heisman Trophy (2020)

Zach Wilson (BYU – Junior)

Will Zach Wilson be able to prove his talent in the NFL? (Photo credits: AP Photo – Jeff Swinger)

It is definitely the revelation of the year. In 2020, Zach Wilson has changed dimension, reaching heights that few people predestined him to. A sudden explosion accompanied by a lot of questions, reminiscent of those that surrounded Joe Burrow a year ago. Is it able to maintain this level of performance? Was he just over revving last season? But these gray areas do not make it a less exciting prospect. His cannon arm seems able to respond to any situation, from short to deep throwing, and his pocket handling is remarkable.

Qualities that allowed him to beat his university’s one-season completion record (73.5%), previously held by Steve Young. While playing with the BYU Cougars, who are not attached to any conference, Zach Wilson however faced teams of a lower level than most of the other quarterbacks who apply for a selection in the top 3.

His statistics in 2020 (12 games): 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and 3 pass interceptions (73.5% completion); 254 yards and 10 touchdowns on the run

His NCAA stats (30 games): 7,652 yards, 56 touchdowns and 15 pass interceptions (67.6% completion); 642 yards and 15 touchdowns on the run

His achievements: 8th in the Heisman Trophy (2020)

Justin Fields (Ohio State – Junior)

Justin Fields, a double-threat profile. (Photo credits: Mike Ehrmann – Getty Images)

Arm, mobility, size: Justin Fields seems to have everything of a double-threat quarterback built for the NFL. After a year barred from competition at Georgia, he has finally lived up to the expectations placed on him. Second in the national rankings for college rookies after graduating from high school, behind Trevor Lawrence, Fields recovered at Ohio State where he showed his strength of character and the full extent of his talent.

His throwing precision and his physical qualities have made more than one defense in the NCAA dizzy. In just 21 games, he has the second most touchdowns in his college. If he has shown difficulty under pressure, conceding twelve fumbles over the past two seasons, the quarterback could make the happiness of a franchise with a good offensive line. What to enter into the plans of the 49ers?

His statistics in 2020 (8 games): 2,100 yards, 22 touchdowns and 6 pass interceptions (70.2% completion); 383 yards and 5 touchdowns on the run

His NCAA stats (34 games): 5,701 yards, 67 touchdowns and 9 pass interceptions (68.4% completion); 1,133 yards and 19 touchdowns on the run

His achievements: national championship finalist (2021), Big Ten champion (2019 and 2020), second All-American team (2019), 3rd and 7th in the Heisman Trophy (2019 and 2020)

Trey Lance (North Dakota State – Sophomore)

Can Trey Lance win in the NFL? (Photo credits: AP Photo – Andy Clayton)

How to judge Trey Lance? On the one hand, undeniable double-threat quarterback qualities and a maddening 2019 season, punctuated by 42 touchdowns for 0 interceptions. On the other hand, only 19 NCAA games, and none against an FBS opponent (1re university division). There lies a problem that certainly concerns more than a general manager a few weeks before the draft: does Trey Lance really have the level to evolve in the NFL? With North Dakota State, he dominated the FCS (2e division) by winning two championships and winning the Walter Payton Award for the best offensive player of the year. His very complete profile could send him among the top ten names called, even if he has only played one game in 2020 due to the season cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic. Unless a better placed franchise tries a bet …

His statistics in 2020 (1 match): 149 yards, 2 touchdowns and one pass interception (50% completion); 143 yards and 2 touchdowns on the run

His NCAA stats (19 games): 2,947 yards, 30 touchdowns and 1 pass interception (65.4% completion); 1,325 yards and 18 touchdowns on the run

His achievements: FCS national champion (2018 and 2019), Walter Payton Award winner (2019)

Mac Jones (Alabama – Junior)

Without being breathtaking, Mac Jones displays real guarantees. (Photo credits: John David Mercer – USA Today Sports)

Succeeding Tua Tagovailoa would have scared some, but Mac Jones did the job. Replacing Jalen Hurts then the Hawaiian in Alabama, he lived in 2020 his first season as a starter. With success. Without having a particularly powerful arm or fiery legs, Mac Jones made very few mistakes and knew how to use the talents present at his side. The result: a league title, and the assurance for an NFL franchise to have an excellent manager. The quarterback was also at ease in the decisive games, accumulating 1,179 yards and 14 touchdowns for a single interception in the SEC conference final and two playoff games. It is not a highlight machine, but will know how to bring serenity and optimize the qualities of its partners. A top 10 candidate, he could even catch the eye of a franchise with a much higher pick.

His statistics in 2020 (13 games): 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and 4 pass interceptions (77.4% completion); 14 yards and 1 touchdown on the run

His NCAA stats (30 games): 6,126 yards, 56 touchdowns and 7 pass interceptions (74.3% completion); 42 yards and 2 touchdowns on the run

His achievements: national champion (2017 and 2020), SEC champion (2018 and 2020), first team All-American (2020)

One Photo Credits: Scott Cunningham – Getty Images

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