The NFL Top 100 is a massive compilation of player rankings voted on by current NFL players. Every year, it raises eyebrows and questions, and crazy discrepancies appear, particularly between players of the same position. The countdown is in progress now, and Nos. 90-81 dropped Tuesday, revealing the first such controversy. Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields came in at No. 86, ten spots above Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, No. 96.

Now, Justin Fields rushed for 1143 yards in 2022, which is the second-most by a quarterback in NFL history. However, as good of an individual playmaker as Fields is, there is no world in which he's a better quarterback or football player than Trevor Lawrence.

Evaluating quarterbacks comes down to three pillars: statistical production, talent/eye test, and results.



Despite Fields' ability with his legs, he was a bad quarterback in 2022. His passer rating of 85.2 was 25th in the NFL. 2242 passing yards was good for 27th, and 17 touchdowns to 11 interceptions is far from impressive. The Bears ranked last in passing by a wide margin last year, and it resulted in the worst record in the NFL.

Lawrence on the other hand, threw for 4113 yards and 25 touchdowns to 8 picks. He ranked top-10 in yards, touchdowns and passer rating (95.2), leading his team to the playoffs and completing the third largest comeback in NFL postseason history in a 31-30 Wild Card Round victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

To be fair, Lawrence dug that hole for his team with four first-half interceptions, but he clawed them out of it as well, finishing with four touchdowns and nearly 300 yards in the 27-point comeback. After starting the game 4-16, he closed the performance with a 24-31 stretch.

People will say the Chargers choked that game away more than the Jaguars won it. So did the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, yet Tom Brady gets all the credit for that one.

Lawrence and the Jags fell 20-27 in the Divisional Round to the Kansas City Chiefs, who ultimately won the Super Bowl. Lawrence completed 24 of 39 passes for 217 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Still, a playoff victory in year two is a strong start to his young career.


Talent/Eye test

Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields were the consensus top two quarterbacks in college football at Clemson and Ohio State, respectively. While Fields was an excellent player at that level and beat Lawrence head-to-head to advance to the National Championship in 2021, Lawrence was the better NFL prospect.

Lawrence was essentially the perfect quarterback prospect in high school and in college. His size, athleticism and arm strength paired with his pure passing ability make up the ideal prototype for a modern quarterback.

Today's best quarterbacks at the pro level tend to have huge arm strength and excellent accuracy, combined with the mobility to extend plays and buy time in the backfield. Players with these traits include the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Josh Allen.

Fields is obviously much more mobile than Lawrence, and his gaudy rushing numbers illustrate that. He's a more talented athlete in the traditional sense. He's a bigger individual threat than Lawrence, and his running ability forces opponents to change the game plan for him.

However, the one man offense has its limitations. Can Justin Fields win a game on his own with his legs? Yes, and that's something Trevor Lawrence can't do. But does that style translate to extended success in the playoffs, or when the team is down big in the fourth quarter? No, and it never has.

Lawrence's skillset aligns with what NFL GMs are all searching for. The ability to maximize the offense as a whole and translate the game plan into on-field success will always be more valuable than one player's individual athleticism. Until Fields demonstrates the ability to do that, he is not on Lawrence's level.



If measuring quarterbacks is all about stats, talent and results, the third is the most dependent on a quarterback's situation — his protection, his weapons, his coaches.

Most would say Lawrence is in a better situation. After the disastrous Urban Meyer experiment in his rookie year, Lawrence has had stability with Doug Pederson, a Super Bowl winning head coach. He also has Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram as targets, and he's getting former All-Pro WR Calvin Ridley this year.

Kirk and Jones are considered strong receiving options, but let's not overlook Lawrence's impact on that. A good quarterback can influence a receiver's production the same way the receiver helps out the quarterback. Those two receivers had easily the best seasons of their careers in year one with Lawrence.

Fields' situation hasn't been great, with below average receivers and a poor offensive line. But let's also not forget the state of these two teams when the Bears and Jaguars each drafted their quarterbacks in 2021.

In 2020, the Bears went 8-8 and made the playoffs with a combination of Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback. Fields might not have the most favorable situation, but he wasn't drafted to the worst team in the league. Lawrence quite literally was, as the Jaguars were 1-15 in 2020 and took Lawrence with the first overall pick in 2021.

Since then, the Bears have steadily declined, and the Jaguars have shown significant improvement. Maybe Lawrence has had more help in the building, but what that franchise does on game day starts with Lawrence.

You can take the results with a grain of salt, but the records are what they are, and Lawrence put together a winning season and won a playoff game.



As teams gear up for the 2023 season, Chicago has the worst odds to win the NFC North at +400 on FanDuel, which if we're being being honest, is quite generous. Even with the Green Bay Packers declining and the Minnesota Vikings losing Dalvin Cook, it's very hard to see the Bears winning the division after finishing 3-14 last year.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars are a -155 favorite to win the AFC South, which is admittedly a weak division. Still, they're likely to be competing in the AFC playoffs against much tougher competition than the NFC has.

In January, while Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars were making a historical postseason comeback, Justin Fields and the Bears were not in the playoffs. In fact, Chicago's front office was deciding what to do with their No. 1 overall pick, a decision that included the option of drafting another quarterback and moving on from Fields.

Ultimately, they opted to trade the pick for a D.J. Moore and draft a tackle, two moves that serve to help Fields.

However, let's say the Bears get off to a slow start and find themselves falling behind in the division. The clock is ticking on Fields, and next year's draft class is loaded at quarterback. If the Bears are terrible again, they could find themselves in the Caleb Williams sweepstakes at the top of yet another draft.

Nobody is talking about who the *next* Jacksonville quarterback will be.