The Super Bowl matchup is set as the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers make their way to Florida. For those whose NFL teams aren’t playing on Super Bowl Sunday, that means one thing: draft season.
With the 2021 NFL Draft coming up in just a few months, we all know who is going to go No. 1: Trevor Lawrence.
However, the next few quarterbacks after that are up for debate. With tons of quarterback-needy teams in 2021, they might fly off the board at a pace faster than we’ve seen in a long time.
So, where does the next quarterback tier rate after Lawrence?
3. Zach Wilson, BYU
Wilson is slated to go in the top three and is arguably the second-best quarterback in the NFL Draft behind Lawrence, but let’s dig a little deeper.
Wilson had a fantastic season for the Cougars and flew up draft boards and could definitely be the best of this group in his NFL career.
He finished the season with 3,692 passing yards along with 33 touchdowns and only three interceptions on the season. Those are incredible numbers regardless of who you play.
His worst game was against Coastal Carolina, which was by far the best team they have in the 2020 season. Wilson went for just 19 of 30 with 240 yards a score and a pick against Coastal in a game BYU lost 22-17.
Besides that game, Wilson was the best player on the field on any given night and can definitely translate his game to the NFL rather easily.
He can throw a deep ball as well as anybody in the NCAA and did so almost regularly for BYU this past season.
Highest-graded deep passer (20+ yards) in the NFL Draft:
🚀 Zach Wilson, BYUpic.twitter.com/3YwGwhcwp9
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 25, 2021
His size is everything you want for an NFL quarterback at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, and he can run the ball well and has an excellent ability to extend the play with his legs.
I just love watching Zach Wilson rip it
(also Dax Milne) pic.twitter.com/BdLLzHdzqh
— Caleb (@calebschmitz7) January 19, 2021
His arm is as good as it gets, and he got better and better each season at BYU and each game for that matter. So, why is Wilson at No. 3 on the list?
While his 2020 season was spectacular and one of the best in college football, his 2019 season wasn’t one to remember.
He played in every game for BYU as they finished with a 7-4 record including a 38-34 loss to Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl.
He finished the year with 2382 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions, far lower than his totals for 2020. Of course, Joe Burrow had a similar situation and absolutely balled out in his final year at LSU and went first overall.
The talent is obvious but perhaps teams get scared away by the fact that he had just one stellar season. Perhaps not, but for that reason, Wilson sits at three.
2. Trey Lance, North Dakota State
The gap between two and three is as small as it gets, and they could easily swap in the next few months.
For now, Lance is the most widely disputed draft prospect in recent history. He could go in the top five, he could go in the teens, he could even fall out of the first round completely depending on how free agency shakes out.
Either way, Lance is an absolute freak of an athlete. He stands at 6-foot-4 and 226 pounds with a laser of an arm and the inept ability to run the ball at will.
Sure he only played one year and one game at North Dakota State, but the film speaks for itself. Lance only played one game in 2020 before declaring for the draft, and it seems a lot of people forgot how talented he is.
He’s the most dynamic runner of the group by far, and a guy his size is exactly what you want leading your team at the next level. He can extend the play with his legs and has shown his ability to run through opposing tacklers.
Trey Lance refused to go down and willed his way to the end zone 💪 pic.twitter.com/J7IAl7DkoC
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 3, 2020
In his one start in 2020, he absolutely bulldozed Central Arkansas on the ground for 143 and two scores on 15 carries. In 2019, he did the same, finishing with 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns showing time and time again he can run the ball with the best of them.
His arm strength is uncanny and should translate just fine to the next level, especially with the coaching and weapons that could be at his disposal if he goes somewhere like Atlanta or Washington, for example.
He threw for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions in 2019. Yes, he had zero picks in the entire season, which is incredible regardless of the opponents he faced.
The gophers didn’t offer Trey Lance, a mn native, a schollie
I’ll never get over it, not ever
— Thor Nystrom (@thorku) May 2, 2020
His one start in 2020 is the only thing holding him back from some NFL teams, a game in which he threw for just 149 yards with two scores and a pick.
Still, the traits speak for themselves, and the debate between Wilson and Lance is extremely close and for much of the same reasons—they had one really good year at the collegiate level.
1. Justin Fields, Ohio State
Sure, Fields had his moments of struggles in this past season but make no mistake: he’s the second-best quarterback in this draft class.
The Buckeyes quarterback had a spectacular 2019 season and was bound for some form of regression in 2020.
Fields finished last season with 3,273 yards with 41 touchdowns and three picks and was a Heisman Trophy finalist before getting beat out by LSU QB Joe Burrow.
40: TBD (4.6s?)
Games Watched – 19: Penn State; 20: Rutgers, Indiana, Nebraska, Clemson
McNabb – 6'2". 223. 20.8? BOA. 40: 4.64
–Yr2 film looks much cleaner and more promising on NFL lvl with PA pro style progression pic.twitter.com/NBFOsKi1sa
— Kayne Rob (@KayneRob) January 22, 2021
He was electric for Ohio State, and for what it’s worth faced much tougher competition than Wilson and Lance. Although his 2020 numbers weren’t as good, Ohio State made the playoffs and Fields was a huge reason why they beat Clemson in the semifinal round.
He went 22 of 28 for 385 yards with six touchdowns and one pick in a 49-28 drubbing of Lawrence and the Tigers.
Unfortunately, that success couldn’t be replicated against Alabama, but that seems to be the case for just about everybody. Fields has the talent and he also has the ability to run the ball and extend the play with his legs, which is as important as ever in today’s NFL.
Another trait that Fields holds his ability to never give up on the play, and you can ask his running backs about that.
Justin Fields 60-yards down field blocking for his back pic.twitter.com/vEXYhREENq
— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) January 23, 2021
He stands at 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds so the size is there. He has a cannon of an arm, and with the right coaching staff in place, he could be one of the best quarterbacks in the league within a few years.
This quarterback class is as good as it gets, and these three behind Lawrence can all potentially go in the top 10 of the upcoming NFL Draft.