For months, the 2021 NFL Draft has been full of quarterback talk. Trevor Lawrence has virtually led the way ever since committing to Clemson back in 2018. From there, a breakout season from BYU’s Zach Wilson has him as number two in many regards. However, one can certainly argue that one of Justin Fields of Ohio State, Trey Lance from North Dakota State, and Alabama’s other Heisman finalist Mac Jones is the second-best behind Lawrence.
The bottom line – these are the big five in the 2021 NFL Draft quarterback class. All five are expected to go in the first round of the draft, potentially all within the first 15 picks. A feat that certainly would go down in history.
A large part of the reason behind all five possibly going so high is because of the limited talent outside of the top five. There is no gameday-ready prospect in the rest of the class, and it would come as no surprise if at most nine are selected in the draft. Nevertheless, there is a handful currently competing to earn the next-best spot in the rankings. That being said, who might be the sixth-best quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft?
Honorable Mentions: Jamie Newman (Georgia)
Had he entered the 2020 NFL Draft, Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman had a strong chance of being a mid-round draft pick. Newman, standing at 6-3 and weighing 235-pounds, has a big frame and good arm strength for the pros. He flashed high upside as a developmental prospect in 2020 before he opted to transfer for the 2021 season to Georgia. But, with the opt-out option for the season, he ultimately sat out. It hurt is stock mightily, as Newman is more likely than not a day three selection. Chances are Newman can develop into a solid NFL quarterback, though it will take plenty of patience.
Davis Mills (Stanford)
One of the lesser talked about prospects in the draft until recently, Davis Mills is a former top quarterback recruit in 2017, who chose Stanford over the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, and many others. It was not until 2019 that Mills saw his first starts, and he performed well. The 6-4 and 222-pound pocket passer displays a strong arm and competitive nature. He is not going to hurt any defense with his athleticism, and he is certainly hurt by starting fewer than 15 games in college. Yet given a strong pre-draft process, Mills is looking like as strong of a candidate as any to go in the third, even second round of the draft.
Kellen Mond (Texas A&M)
Unlike Mills, Kellen Mond has been under the college football spotlight since heading to Texas A&M as a freshman. The 6-3 and 217-pound quarterback has slowly grown year after year before finally putting it all together in 2020. He threw totaled 23 touchdowns to just three interceptions while completing a career-high 63.3% of passes. His pocket awareness and decision-making can be questionable at times, but his poise, control, and velocity on short-intermediate throws are very promising. The upside is going to be attractive to many NFL teams despite the time it will likely take for him to reach gameday ready.
Kyle Trask (Florida)
Did everyone forget about Kyle Trask? Yes, he lacks desired mobility for the NFL and has an average arm. What he does have though is a high football IQ, size at 6-5 and 239-pounds, and leadership to eventually become an NFL starter. He is going to be able to earn the respect of a locker room for his work ethic and provide an excellent game manager. Trask finished fourth in Heisman voting this past season after throwing 43 touchdowns and 4,283 yards in only 12 games. There certainly are concerns over his athleticism, but his game is one that could work in the right system at the next level.
Quarterback Number Six Is…
This question comes down to one thing – upside. In the draft, the order they are selected will come down largely due to scheme fit, as all three are developmental players, each with different positives and negatives. Nonetheless, Mills has the upper hand over Mond and Trask. Mills plays the most pro-ready game and has the potential to be a solid starter in the NFL. Meanwhile, Mond and Trask should take longer to groom as their issues need more work to adjust for the pro game. Ultimately, Mills is the leader in the clubhouse to trail the big five in the class, but who knows who will wind up being QB6 off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft.