Quarterbacks are almost always a prized commodity in any NFL draft class, but the 2021 edition is an exceptional case in the eyes of at least one coach.
"I have never seen quarterbacks get pushed up in the draft the way they’re getting pushed up this year," the coach said to NBC Sports' Peter King. "Trevor Lawrence deserves to be the number one pick, but after that, in my book, there’s three receivers, a tight end and two offensive tackles ahead of the next quarterback. But this desperation for quarterbacks ..."
In the B/R Scouting Department's Mock Draft 1.0, five quarterbacks were off the board in the first round: Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, BYU's Zach Wilson, Ohio State's Justin Fields, North Dakota State's Trey Lance and Alabama's Mac Jones. Lawrence, Wilson, Fields and Lance made up the first four picks as well.
That isn't too far out of step with how those passers stack up with the rest of the class, though. All but Jones were among the top seven players in B/R's Big Board 2.0. Jones (No. 41 overall) was an outlier, while Kyle Trask (No. 127) was the only other QB to crack the top 150.
It's almost impossible to find a year in which at least one general manager didn't make a big reach to take a signal-caller earlier than expected. Either that or a quarterback with a somewhat unimpressive on-field résumé shoots up draft boards because he has the physical tools to thrive at the next level.
Sometimes you wind up with Mitchell Trubisky. Sometimes you strike gold with Josh Allen.
NFL Films' Greg Cosell explained to King why the need to land a true franchise QB has only climbed in recent years.
"In a league that has veered dramatically toward the passing game and toward three and four-receiver sets, it makes sense the quarterback becomes more in demand," Cosell said. "You need a really good quarterback to play the game that exists now. It leads to the need, and sometimes the desperation, of trying to find ‘that guy.’"
The hand-wringing conveyed to King by the anonymous coach seems somewhat misplaced. Having said that, those concerns could be justified if Trask, Kellen Mond or another Day 2 prospect winds up going toward the back half of the first round.