Almost everyone believes that Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. After him, the debate truly begins.
There are five quarterbacks who will likely be drafted in the first round, and each of them has their own pros and cons. Some are mobile threats, and others are elite pocket passers. Some have experience concerns, while others have traits that might not translate to the NFL.
This has caused a debate with who will be the first quarterback taken after Lawrence. The top two contenders are Zach Wilson from BYU and Justin Fields from Ohio State. Fields carried his team to the CFP National Championship, but Wilson is a human highlight reel. If you look at them for long enough, you can make an argument for either of them.
At the end of the day, one of these players will be drafted before the other. Who is more likely to be selected first in the 2021 NFL Draft? Here is a case for each player along with a prediction.
The Case for Zach Wilson
Wilson has been compared to players like Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. He keeps plays alive with his legs, but his cannon for an arm makes the highlight. In almost every game at BYU, he made at least one play that left you speechless. If he can translate this to the NFL, he will be a success as a rookie.
Wilson is where the NFL is heading. Teams are looking for players who can improvise and change the game with their talent alone. They want to find someone who can make a few game-breaking plays each week, and Wilson fits that bill.
Now, Zach Wilson is not a perfect prospect. The lack of competition at BYU is worrisome, and some have questioned his leadership skills. Still, almost every NFL mock draft has him going to the Jets with the second overall pick. If this happens, he would obviously be drafted ahead of Justin Fields.
The case for Wilson will reference his potential. If he continues to develop, he will be a monster in the NFL. Since NFL teams are drafting off of potential, this makes Wilson the likely winner.
The Case for Justin Fields
Justin Fields has been spoken in the same breath as Trevor Lawrence since they were in high school. They were seen as the two best quarterbacks in their recruiting class, but Lawrence just continued to climb as Fields stuttered.
However, Fields still made it to the National Championship in 2020. He led the Buckeyes despite suffering injuries. He proved his toughness when he led his team past the Clemson Tigers.
Also, Fields is an amazing athlete. If he can develop as a passer, he will be one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL. Until then, he can rely on his athleticism when things go wrong.
The case for Fields includes the level of competition. He might only have two seasons as a starter under his belt including a shortened 2020 season, but he faced off against some of the best defenses in college football. He wasn’t always perfect, but he showed potential.
This is all great, but a decision still has to be made. Who will be drafted first?
Which QB Will Be Taken First?
This is a pretty easy decision as of right now. Members of the media are predicting for Wilson to go to the Jets for a reason. If they decide to take a quarterback in the draft, it will be Zach Wilson.
However, will they take a quarterback? Some see them sticking with Sam Darnold. Others think that they will manage to trade for Deshaun Watson. With New York’s Super Bowl odds being so poor, a quarterback might not be enough to tip the scales.
However, I see Zach Wilson being QB2 regardless. Teams are hoping to find the next star quarterback, and he has more upside. With his arm talent, his value increases exponentially. Both might be successful in the NFL, but Zach Wilson is more likely to be drafted first.