3/2/21: Lawrence underwent surgery on his left labrum, his non-throwing shoulder, which should not have any bearing on his rookie season. Clemson then held Lawrence's pro day early, and it went well for him, as expected. He showed off his big arm and great skill set to confirm his status as the future No. 1 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Lawrence made some beautiful throws in 2020, showing off his powerful arm, accuracy, and an impressive ability to throw on the run. His deep ball was superb. He completed 69 percent of his passes in 2020 for 3,153 yards, 24 touchdowns passing and five interceptions. Lawrence also rushed for eight touchdowns. Lawrence tested positive for COVID-19 during the season, forcing Clemson to rule him out against Boston College and Notre Dame. But in the rematch against the Fighting Irish, Lawrence led the Tigers to an impressive victory. Ohio State knocked Clemson out of the playoff, but Lawrence threw for 400 yards despite his offensive line playing terribly. The Tigers' defense was also dominated by Justin Fields.
Lawrence is a pro-ready passer. His accuracy is exceptional, and he consistently places the ball perfectly downfield. Lawrence can fit passes into windows the size of a shoe box, and he drops in strikes past defensive backs. Even though Lawrence will throw into some tight windows, he displays good decision-making and does a great job of avoiding turnovers. Lawrence places passes where his receivers can make a play on the ball and avoids giving defensive backs opportunities to pick passes off. The tall Lawrence sees the field extremely well, and he has advanced field vision. Lawrence displays pocket composure to stand erect in the pocket and does not get rattled by the pass rush.
One trait that really sets Lawrence apart and makes him a truly rare prospect is his deep-ball accuracy. With a variety of receivers, Lawrence does a phenomenal job of locating his passes downfield to beat coverage and lead his weapons to big plays. Because Lawrence has cannon for an arm and can precisely throw deep downfield, defenses can't crowd the box because he will make them pay. Thus, Lawrence's passing ability could really open things up for the rushing attack in the NFL and lead to more success for his team that does not show up in his personal stats.
Lawrence is a good fit for any NFL offense because his powerful arm would allow him to work in a vertical offense and his accuracy on short passes and ability to get the ball out quickly would let him fit in a West Coast system. Lawrence has a quick release and a fast arm whip. His internal clock is advanced as well, letting him get the ball out quickly and not put extra pressure on his offensive line.
On top of elite passing talent, Lawrence has excellent mobility and athleticism. He shows quick feet and a burst as a runner that catches defenses by surprise. On read-option plays, Lawrence shows some toughness to pound the ball up the middle, and he has some power on the ground that makes him effective in short-yardage situations and near the goal line. Lawrence demonstrates nice mobility to dodge defenders in the pocket, and he throws well on the run. In the open field, Lawrence is a slippery runner who can dodge tacklers thanks to his straight-line speed to run away from defenses. Team sources who talked football with Lawrence came away very impressed with his intelligence. They also like his ability to get his team in the right play.
Lawrence, like any college player, has some things he could stand to work on for the next level. Sources say not locking on his first read is one point of improvement. Lawrence could stand to speed up the process of working through his progressions.
8/29/20: In 2019, Lawrence completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,665 yards with 36 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for 563 yards and nine touchdowns while leading Clemson back to the National Championship Game. Lawrence showed further development as a passer and as a team leader.
Lawrence took college football by storm as a freshman in 2018, compiling a superb season that culminated with him ripping Alabama's defense comprised of NFL talent to win another National Championship for Clemson. Lawrence completed 65 percent of his passes that season for 3,280 yards with 30 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Lawrence has a good arm, developed poise, and play-making ability. He also makes good decisions while distributing the ball well to his phenomenal supporting cast. Unless Lawrence gets injured, he should have another massive season and has the potential to be the best quarterback prospect to enter the NFL since Andrew Luck.
3/2/21: There is a lot to like about Wilson for the NFL. He has a quality arm capable of making all the throws and an ability to push the ball downfield. In the short to intermediate part of the field, Wilson can spin the ball and fire some fastballs into tight windows. He also is capable of putting air under the ball to loft in touch passes.
Wilson is an accurate passer who displays quality footwork that leads to him tossing precision passes. He is not an elite runner for the next level in the mold of a Lamar Jackson, but he has mobility with some quickness and athleticism to buy time in the pocket and pick up some first downs on the ground. Some team sources compared Wilson's running ability and athleticism to Johnny Manziel's.
Wilson has some things to work on still, like any collegiate player. Speeding up his process and working through his progressions faster would help him to succeed at the pro level. There can be times at which he holds the ball too long, so he needs to get passes out more quickly. Wilson had the luxury of a good offensive line at BYU, with multiple players who will compete to make NFL rosters, but at the pro level, he should avoid putting as much pressure on his blockers against NFL pass rushers.
While Wilson has enough size to be a starting quarterback in NFL, it would be a good idea for him to add some weight to his frame to help him avoid injury at the pro level. Team sources say Wilson is confident and intelligent, plays tough, and inspires his teammates to play for him. On the negative side, they say Wilson comes from a very wealthy family and comes across as an entitled, selfish know-it-all - his parents are a pain to deal with too. Some team sources think Wilson could rise to be the second quarterback selected and go high in the first round. Others think he should be a late first-round or early second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. But with the way quarterbacks go in the draft, Wilson will probably end up as a top-10 pick.
8/29/20: NFL advance scouts put Wilson on their preseason watch list, so they saw enough on tape and on the field to believe that he has pro potential. Wilson threw the ball accurately over his first two years, but he needs to cut down on interceptions and show the ability to produce more points.
3/2/21: Fields dominated Nebraska, Penn State and Rutgers in 2020 before coming through with one of the best games of his career to beat Clemson in the college football playoff. He played poorly against Indiana and Northwestern, displaying problems with operating in the pocket. In 2020, Fields completed 70 percent of his passes in 2020 for 2,100 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. He had five rushing scores as well.
Fields is a dynamic runner and athlete who a great skill set that includes a strong, accurate arm and some natural passing ability. He still needs a lot of work with pocket awareness. He has to improve passing the face of the rush, handling the blitz, taking check downs instead of forcing passes into coverage downfield, and anticipating receivers coming open rather than waiting to see them come open. That being said, Fields has a lot of talent to work with and is worthy of going as a top-10 pick.
8/29/20: Fields has a dynamic skill set with natural passing ability and is a dangerous runner. He is an accurate quarterback with a strong arm, is aggressive to push the ball downfield, and is a playmaker with his feet. In speaking with some team sources, we agreed Fields looks like a bigger Deshaun Watson. Fields needs development and refinement. He especially needs to improve at executing when faced with heavy blitzes.
Fields was one of the top recruits in the nation alongside Trevor Lawrence. To start out his college career, Fields played at Georgia before transferring to Ohio State. In 2019, Fields took over as the Buckeyes' starting quarterback and dominated. The sophomore completed 67 percent of his passes on the season for 3,273 yards with 41 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ran for 484 yards and 10 scores. In Fields' one season at Georgia, he was 27-of-39 for 328 yards with four touchdowns passing and four touchdowns rushing.
3/2/21: Lance's one game of the 2020 season was a mixed outing. He missed some throws and made some mistakes, but considering the rust factor, those issues were somewhat understandable. Lance completed 15-of-30 passes for 149 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries as well. After his one game, he announced he would enter the 2021 NFL Draft.
Lance will need a lot of practice time with pro coaches. He has a great skill set with arm strength, size, running ability, and upside. An AFC general manager said they think Lance is worthy of being a pick in the back half of the first round because he needs development, although he probably will go much higher out of team need. Here's the breakdown of Lance from one area scout: "He's big with a strong arm and is a good athlete, but he has no touch or feel as a passer. Lance reminds me of Jason Campbell."
8/29/20: Lance produced a huge redshirt freshman season in 2019, completing 67 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also ran for 1,100 yards with 14 touchdowns on the ground - his rushing yardage was actually bigger, but college football deducts sack yardage from a quarterback's rushing totals.
From a skill-set perspective, Lance fits in with other other recent first-round prospects. His size, arm strength, running ability, and big-play potential are in line with other recent Thursday picks. As a passer, Lance definitely has next-level ability.
Lance has a strong arm capable of making all the throws for the pros. He shows the ability to fire fastballs to the sideline and has no problem airing out deep balls. Overall, Lance has good accuracy, and his deep-ball precision is very impressive. One of Lance's impressive traits from 2019, especially for such a young player, was his poise. Lance looked very calm in the pocket, and when the rush was closing around him, it seemed to be a non-factor for him.
In speaking to some team sources who saw Lance in person while scouting North Dakota State, they feel the potential is there for Lance, but they also need to see more before feeling he is worthy of being a high first-round pick. As of late August, North Dakota State is going to play one football game in the fall. Lance needs more experience and development, but most of the season is gone because foolish decision makers in college football were looking to protect their job security over considering the science that football players are more likely to die in a car accident driving to practice than from COVID-19.
"I think [Lance is] a very good player, but at that position, I'm a firm believer in body of work and he has a very small sample size at this point," said a national scout. "He's got tools to work, and he's not the first young pup to be pushed up. Every year there's someone, but we have to let it play out."
"Recent history has not been kind to the 1-year-wonder surge guys. It has not been ideal for the picks of guys like Mitch Trubisky, Blake Bortles, Dwayne Haskins, DeShone Kizer, Paxton Lynch, etc. At [Lance's] level of competition, you definitely want to have more than good season. I like him though, but not ready to crown him just yet."
3/2/21: Jones cruised over Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State and Notre Dame in 2020. Taking on a good Georgia defense, Jones threw for over 400 yards to get the Crimson Tide a huge win. He was a decisive passer, showing a quality arm, some accuracy, and good decision-making. As is so often the case with players from Alabama, Jones benefited from a great supporting cast and extra media attention. Jones was then the best quarterback at the Senior Bowl practices.
Late in 2020, WalterFootball.com sought opinions on Jones from five different teams regarding the 2021 NFL Draft. Three had a fourth-round grade on Jones, one had him on the bubble between Rounds 2 and 3, and one team gave him a second-round grade. An AFC general manager said the second round was too high for Jones, calling him a mid-round talent, so opinions vary on Jones across the league. Some in the media are projecting him to go in the first round, so perhaps there are teams that have a first-round grade on Jones.
"[Jones is] a stronger-armed Jake Fromm," said one area scout. "He distributes the ball well to all those great weapons. Jones has some ability. His arm is good enough, a little stronger than Jake's. Mac can anticipate, and sees the field well. I think he could have a career in the NFL similar to Matt Barkley."
Another team source who graded Jones in the fourth round said they felt he was a shorter A.J. McCarron. Similar to McCarron, Jones was surrounded with a phenomenal set of wide receivers, a tough offensive line with future early-round picks, and a dynamic running game. Team sources say Jones generally did a good job of managing the game and getting the ball to his playmakers.
The Colts' scouting department, led by general manager Chris Ballard and director of college scouting Morocco Brown, is one of the best in the league for evaluating talent for the next level, and they opted to try to salvage Carson Wentz rather than draft Jones, so that is a consideration regarding Jones' projection.
8/29/20: Jones had some good moments in backup duty in 2019 after Tua Tagovailoa went out for the year with his hip injury. Jones could be a riser as Alabama has a lot of talent around him.
3/2/21: Trask put together an excellent 2020, dominating Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas, plus also carrying Florida to a win over Georgia in which he threw for almost 500 yards. He also was very good against Alabama in the SEC Championship, throwing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns - plus rushing for another two. Trask's lone bad game of 2020 was against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, but he was playing without his top-three receivers and star tight end Kyle Pitts. An ankle injury during training cost Trask participating in the Senior Bowl practices.
Three directors of college scouting and a national scout told WalterFootball.com that Trask is a better pocket passer than Justin Fields, in part because Trask lacks mobility, so he has developed good pocket awareness by default. An AFC general manager told me they think Trask will be a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Trask has serious pocket-passing ability for the NFL. He is very accurate in terms of impressive ball placement, timing, field vision, and decision making. Helped by a powerful arm capable of making touch passes, Trask put on display some natural passing ability in every game of 2020. Trask's lack of mobility and teams viewing him as a statue in the pocket are hurting him, but some team sources think Trask could be a riser in the interviews.
8/29/20: Florida's offense improved in 2019 when Trask replaced Feleipe Franks. Trask could have beaten out Franks for the job a year earlier if it weren't for an injury suffered in practice after a hit by Jabari Zuniga. In 2019, Trask made good decisions as a passer and was efficient to distribute the ball to a deep group of receivers.
Trask has a thick build, a strong arm, good height and pocket presence, plus draws rave reviews for his character and work ethic. Trask could be a riser in 2020 now that he has more experience and more tutelage from quarterback expert Dan Mullen.
3/2/21: Mond improved in 2020, showing more accuracy. He had mixed outings versus Alabama and Vanderbilt, making some beautiful passes and struggling at other times. He had a huge game against Florida to lead the Aggies to a fourth-quarter comeback win, but the inconsistency makes Mond a challenging evaluation. He had a solid week of practice at Senior Bowl to help himself, but teams are lukewarm about him overall.
Some see him as a poor man's Colin Kaepernick, and others think he is a better version of Josh Dobbs. That could put Mond as a mid-round-backup type for the NFL. Some team sources said they gave Mond a third-round grade, but others have him graded on Day 3. Mond will probably go in the early rounds of the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft.
8/29/20: Evaluators like Mond's size, arm and athleticism. He needs to continue to improve his accuracy, as that was a big concern for NFL teams heading into his senior year. Mond has shown progress with coaching, but a lot of scouts are skeptical.
Mond had a mixed 2019 season. There were ugly games against Clemson and LSU to bookend the year. He had mixed outings versus Auburn and Georgia, and then very good games against Alabama and Mississippi State that demonstrated significant improvement. Sources from a handful of teams all believed Mond was best off returning for his senior year to develop under Jimbo Fisher before going pro.
In 2019, Mond completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,897 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions while running for 500 yards and eight touchdowns. He displayed improvement in his accuracy, foot work, decision-making, and composure during the course of the season, but he still has a ways to go for the NFL. In 2018, Mond completed 57 percent of his passes for 3,107 yards with 24 touchdowns versus nine interceptions.
3/2/21: Newman skipped the 2020 season in favor of preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft. His decision to opt out is probably going to cause him to slide. Newman fell under the radar while Zach Wilson, Kyle Trask and Mac Jones helped themselves while dominating the competition in 2020. At the Senior Bowl, Newman had a bad final day of practice and struggled in the actual game. He could slide deep into the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft.
8/29/20: After the 2019 season, Newman decided to transfer to Georgia from Wake Forest rather than enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Newman created a buzz in the scouting community in the fall of 2019 as a legit pro prospect for the next level. Newman is a dual-threat quarterback with running and passing talent to challenge defenses. He has quality size with a live arm and athleticism. Newman has shown a lot of upside to develop for the pro ranks and going to Georgia could help that.
Newman has to get better at working through his progressions, seeing the field, and his footwork. Some team sources think Newman would have been a second-day pick if he entered the 2020 NFL Draft, but they thought he was wise to go back for his senior year instead.
Newman completed 61 percent of his passes in 2019 for 2,868 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also has six rushing touchdowns with 464 yards on the ground. In 2018, Newman completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,083 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
3/2/21: Franks has a big arm, good size, and can occasionally make a beautiful pass. However, he can be slow reading the field, is inconsistent with his mechanics and accuracy, and does not offer running ability for the next level. Franks looks like a late-round pick or undrafted free agent who could compete to be a third quarterback on a pro roster. He should have taken advantage of another year of eligibility, but he decided to enter the 2021 NFL Draft.
Franks struggled in the 2020 season opener against Georgia, but he bounced back and played well to lead Arkansas to upset Mississippi State. Franks then almost beat Auburn and played well in a loss to Texas A&M.
8/29/20: Franks has a cannon for an arm to go along with big size. He struggles with consistency as a passer, as he can get into funks of inaccuracy, poor decision-making, and not seeing the field that well. Franks needs a big season at Arkansas to be more than a late-round or undrafted free agent in the 2021 NFL Draft.
3/2/21: Ramsey was a gutsy signal-caller who pushed his team to the Big Ten Championship in 2020. He flashed a quality arm with passing ability as a senior, but also threw the ball well as a sophomore and junior. Over the past three seasons, Ramsey was held back by a lack of talent at receiver, but he was a steadily productive player for the Wildcats.
Ramsey scored a 30 on his Wonderlic test, and that would have put him among the top-three scoring quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft class. Teams love Ramsey's intangibles to go along with his intelligence, and he could end being a solid backup quarterback in the NFL.
Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
Height: 6-3. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2021): 5-7. View Ranking History
3/2/21: Ehlinger made some nice throws in 2020, but he still showed some issues thriving as a pocket passer. For the NFL, he looks limited to being a career backup quarterback, similar to a Jeff Driskel. Ehlinger suffered a sprained shoulder in the Alamo Bowl. He then participated in the Senior Bowl, where he didn't impress or help his draft grade.
8/29/20: Ehlinger's best asset could be his feet and running ability, but that will be diminished by NFL defenders. There are some throws that he struggles to make due to his inconsistent field vision. Thus, Ehlinger looks more like a mid-round backup. He is more of a running quarterback and has drawn some comparisons to Tim Tebow for his style of play. Ehlinger was wise to return for his senior year to improve before going pro.
Ehlinger was improved in 2018, displaying more skills as a pocket passer and improved accuracy. He competed 65 percent of his passes on the year for 3,292 yards with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions. That was a big jump from the previous year with 58 percent completed for 1,915 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. In 2019, Ehlinger completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,663 yards with 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
K.J. Costello, QB, Mississippi State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.9.
Projected Round (2021): 6-FA. View Ranking History
3/2/21: Costello made some beautiful throws downfield in the 2020 season opener, tearing up a talented LSU defense. He made a few bad passes, but overall, he was very good in leading the Bulldogs to a road win. Costello completed 36-of-60 passes for 623 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions.
However, Costello then threw three interceptions against Arkansas and four interceptions against Kentucky. After he continued his turnover streak against Texas A&M, Costello was benched for a time. He continued to struggle after returning to the lineup.
Costello would be fortunate to get drafted, but he could be a worthy undrafted free agent signing to be a fourth quarterback in training camp and potential practice squad player as a rookie.
8/29/20: Costello transferred to Mississippi State and will be blessed with working with passing guru Mike Leach. It will be interesting to see how Costello improves under Leach's tutelage. In 2019 for Stanford, Costello completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,038 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions. He missed the majority of Stanford's games in 2019 and stopped playing in early November.
Costello has quality size to him with a nice arm and has experience operating in a pro-style offense. He really improved in 2018, his second year of extensive playing time, completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 3,540 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He completed 59 percent of his passes in 2017 for 1,573 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions.
There are definitely some strengths for Costello as it relates to translating to the NFL. He has good size with a decent arm and pocket presence. Costello stands tall in the face of a rush using pocket presence to hang tough with defenders closing around him. Costello flashes some accuracy throwing into coverage, tossing some well-located passes that allow his receivers to make catches even when they are closely covered. Costello also displays a pretty good understanding of where his receivers are and executing the offense.
There definitely are areas for improvement that he needs to work on for the NFL. Costello definitely has to quicken his passing process. He needs to get faster at reading the defense, working through his progressions, and getting the ball out. There are times when he is too slow to pull the trigger, which allows the defense to close on the backend. Costello has to improve his field vision to work through his reads.
From a mechanics perspective, Costello can be a bit wooden and could stand to improve his release. He can get long at times and could stand to get more compact and quicker. His feet also can get out of whack, and improving his feet would allow him to be more accurate with his ball location. While he will use his feet to buy some time or pick up yards on the ground, he is not a running threat for the NFL. He will have to succeed as a pure pocket passer to make it at the next level. He will never be a quarterback who is a real threat to buy a lot of time with his feet, dodge pass rushers, or pick up yards on the ground.
Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame
Height: 6-0. Weight: 212.
Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
Projected Round (2021): 6-FA. View Ranking History
3/2/21: Book played well overall for the Fighting Irish in 2020. He was a reliable passer and game manager, leading Notre Dame to some tough wins. Book is similar to former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees, Book's offensive coordinator. Both are good college quarterbacks who lack NFL skill sets. Book could have returned to Notre Dame for next season, but he decided to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. Book did not impress teams at the Senior Bowl.
8/29/20: In 2019, Book was an efficient passer and point producer for Notre Dame. He does not have the skill set to become an early-round prospect for the next level.
Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
Height: 6-4. Weight: 214.
Projected 40 Time: 4.89.
Projected Round (2021): 7-FA. View Ranking History
3/2/21: Mills missed the start of the Pac-12's season due to a COVID-19 test. He completed over 66 percent of his passes for 1,508 yards, seven scores and three picks. He also had 37 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. Mills could have gone back to Stanford, but decided to enter the 2021 NFL Draft.
8/29/20: Mills was in and out of the lineup for Stanford in 2019, but he flashed some potential with the ability to improve as he gains experience. It will be interesting to see how Mills develops as the full-time starter.
Dustin Crum, QB, Kent State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 201.
Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
Projected Round (2021): 7-FA. View Ranking History
3/2/21: Crum put up gaudy numbers in Kent State's four-game season. He completed over 73 percent of his passes for 1,181 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. He also notched four rushing touchdowns and 240 ground yards.
8/29/20: Crum broke out for Kent State in 2019, completing just under 70 percent of his passes for 2,622 yards with 20 touchdowns and only two interceptions. His performance earned him a spot on NFL teams' preseason watch list. Crum needs to add weight and fill out his frame for the next level.