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NFL Draft 2021: Early Mock for Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, More Top QBs

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIJune 5, 2020

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence passes against LSU during the second half of a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields? That's the question the team with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL draft could be asking itself, as the pair of quarterbacks are the early favorites to be taken with the top selection next year.

Of course, a lot can change by the time the NFL draft rolls around next April. Lawrence and Fields have another college season to make their cases to be the first player selected. And perhaps other quarterbacks will break out in 2020 and put themselves on the radar as a potential first-round pick, like LSU's Joe Burrow did this past season.

After an early mock for the first round of the 2021 draft, we'll break down several of the top quarterbacks in the upcoming class, including Lawrence and Fields.

          

2021 NFL Mock Draft, 1st Round

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1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

2. Detroit Lions: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

3. New York Jets: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

4. Washington Redskins: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

6. New York Giants: Patrick Surtain Jr., CB, Alabama

7. Miami Dolphins: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

8. Chicago Bears: Walker Little, OT, Stanford

9. Las Vegas Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

10. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State

11. Atlanta Falcons: Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

12. Los Angeles Chargers: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

13. Carolina Panthers: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

14. New England Patriots: Xavier Thomas, DE, Clemson

15. Arizona Cardinals: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

16. Cleveland Browns: Caden Sterns, S, Texas

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

18. Denver Broncos: Jay Tufele, DT, USC

19. Tennessee Titans: Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina

20. Indianapolis Colts: Patrick Johnson, DE, Tulane

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

22. Minnesota Vikings: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

24. Buffalo Bills: Quincy Roche, DE, Miami

25. Dallas Cowboys: Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

27. Green Bay Packers: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

28. Seattle Seahawks: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

29. San Francisco 49ers: Carlos Basham Jr., DE, Wake Forest

30. Kansas City Chiefs: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

31. New Orleans Saints: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

32. Baltimore Ravens: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

Draft order based on predicted 2020 records

                  

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

After an impressive first two years at Clemson, Lawrence is one of the most exciting prospects in the country entering the 2020 season.

Not only has the 20-year-old led the Tigers to the College Football Playoff both seasons (including winning the national championship in his freshman year), but he's also put up impressive numbers while dominating ACC competition and performing well in the postseason.

Over 30 games, Lawrence has passed for 5,778 yards and 58 touchdowns, completing 67 percent of his pass attempts and throwing only 12 interceptions. He has the potential to play even better in his junior season, as Clemson is likely to win the ACC and be one of the top programs in the country once again.

During an appearance on the Move the Sticks podcast, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah praised the "crisp" and "explosive" ways that Lawrence plays on the field.

"There is no fear with the way he plays," Jeremiah said, according to Kevin Flaherty of 247Sports.com. "Talk about attacking. He loves to attack down the field. Talk about him as a runner, he builds up that speed with that long stride. He's a tough kid."

The Jaguars could struggle in 2020 and potentially be in position to land the No. 1 pick next year. If that happens with Gardner Minshew II not playing well, they may want to draft a franchise quarterback to take over, and Lawrence might fill that role quickly.

The Clemson signal-caller's ability to lead his team to wins could be an attractive quality to Jacksonville, which has had only one winning season in the past 12 years.

            

Justin Fields, Ohio State

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

With a big 2020 season, Fields could force a tough decision for the team that owns the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft. He already started doing that in 2019, when he had an impressive first season at Ohio State after transferring from Georgia.

Last season, the 21-year-old passed for 3,273 yards and 41 touchdowns in 14 games while throwing only three interceptions. He also rushed for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns. It was his first opportunity to be a starter at the college level after he had only 39 pass attempts and 42 rushes during his freshman year at Georgia.

"Fields has a lot to work with at the position," Jeremiah recently wrote. "He can make every throw and he's an incredible athlete. For someone who was operating in a new system and environment last season, his production was outstanding."

The Lions may not have made enough improvements this offseason to avoid getting a top draft pick again in 2021, which could end up putting them in a position to draft Fields.

Matthew Stafford is 32, so Detroit could look to the future by adding Fields to lead it into a new era. Plus, it would be fun to watch him play in an NFL offense that has some talented pieces, such as wide receiver Kenny Golladay.

          

Brock Purdy, Iowa State

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

While it's clear Lawrence and Fields are the top two quarterbacks in the upcoming draft class, the 2020 season could be important in deciding which others could end up as first-round picks. Iowa State's Brock Purdy has the potential to reach that level.

Last season, the 20-year-old made positive strides from his freshman year, passing for 3,982 yards and 27 touchdowns while also rushing for eight scores. He's already played 23 games over his first two seasons, and if he keeps improving in 2020, he could become a first-round draft prospect.

"His mix of accuracy and athleticism has made him one of the most dangerous weapons in the offensive-minded Big 12," ESPN's David Hale wrote in April.

One potential fit for Purdy could be the Steelers, as they will likely soon need a franchise quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger nearing the end of his career.

If the 38-year-old still plays at a high level for a few more seasons, then Purdy could learn from an experienced quarterback who has experienced plenty of success in the NFL. That could set the newcomer up well to take over as Pittsburgh's offensive leader in the years to come.

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