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NFL Draft 2021: Mock Predictions for Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 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

The 2021 NFL Draft is nearly a year away, but it's not to early to recognize that quarterbacks will be prominent at the top of Round 1. It's the most important position in the NFL, and next year's crop of quarterback prospects might be even more impressive than this years.

Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields are already well-known college commodities. However, North Dakota State's Trey Lance could soon join them as a near-lock at the top of the first round.

According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, Lance is a prospect set for a potentially rapid rise:

"I talked to some scouts about him, and they all said he's the real deal. Now, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields are both considered (Lawrence at least and Fields can get there) generational type of talents. So I wanted to compare how Lance kind of stacked up with those guys. And, you know, I don't know if he's going to catch those two, but he's certainly within shouting distance now after a season he put together at North Dakota State."

The rise of Lance—along with a potentially career-threatening spinal issue for Clemson wideout Justyn Ross—could have a major impact on how the early first round unfolds next April. Here, we'll examine just what it might look like.

   

2021 NFL Mock Draft

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

2. Washington Redskins: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

3. Carolina Panthers: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

4. Miami Dolphins: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami

6. New York Jets: Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

7. Detroit Lions: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

8. Arizona Cardinals: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

9. Atlanta Falcons: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

10. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

11. Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

12. New York Giants: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

13. Chicago Bears: Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama

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

15. Cleveland Browns: Tyler Shelvin, DL, LSU

16. Jacksonville Jaguars (from L.A. Rams): Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia

18. Tennessee Titans: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

19. Pittsburgh Steelers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

20. Minnesota Vikings: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

21. New England Patriots: Jay Tufele, DT, USC 

22. Indianapolis Colts: JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU

23. Buffalo Bills: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

24. Philadelphia Eagles: LaBryan Ray, DL, Alabama

25. Green Bay Packers: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

26. Seattle Seahawks: Wyatt Davis, OL, Ohio State

27. Dallas Cowboys: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

28. New Orleans Saints: Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

30. San Francisco 49ers: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

31. Baltimore Ravens: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Caden Sterns, S, Texas

       

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

The Jacksonville Jaguars currently have the worst Super Bowl odds, according to Caesars. Whether they actually end up with the No. 1 pick and whether they would use it on Lawrence will largely depend on how Year 2 of the Gardner Minshew II experiment unfolds.

Minshew presented Jacksonville with more good than bad while passing for 3,271 yards with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions as a rookie. If he can show growth in his second pro season, the Jaguars may be tempted to trade this selection even if they earn it.

Of course, Jacksonville may also decide to go ahead and grab the quarterback who has been deemed a can't-miss prospect for virtually his entire college career. Lawrence, who passed 3,665 yards with 36 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season, has the potential to be a special NFL talent.

Minshew would have to be especially impressive in 2020 for the Jaguars to pass on a quarterback in Round 1.

    

7. Detroit Lions: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Sam Hodde/Associated Press

As previously mentioned, the upswing in Lance's stock could shake up the top of Round 1. One possibility is that a team like the Jaguars could see enough in Lance to trade out of the top spot, amassing a serious draft haul and still landing Lance a few spots later.

It's certainly going to be hard to ignore another strong season from Lance, who passed for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns, rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns and threw zero interceptions.

And while one can point to the level of competition Lance has faced as a negative, it's also worth pointing out that fellow former Bison Carson Wentz has had little trouble adapting to NFL competition.

Lance is a smart prospect—one with multiple Ivy League offers, according to Breer—with a tremendous skill set and one season of elite production already on his resume. Don't be shocked if he's one of the hottest prospects in the months leading up to the 2021 draft.

   

18. Tennessee Titans: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

With Clemson's Ross undergoing offseason spinal surgery and likely out for 2020, there's a good chance that teams aren't willing to take him in Round 1. This, in turn, will open the door for other receiver prospects, like Purdue pass-catcher Rondale Moore.

Last season, Moore caught 29 passes for 387 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned five punts and returned nine kickoffs—all in a mere four games. He was sidelined for most of the season with a hamstring injury. In 2018, More caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 scores.

With another booming year, Moore will likely cement his spot as one of the top receivers in the 2021 draft class.

For the Tennessee Titans, Moore would represent a replacement for Corey Davis, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract and who has not lived up to expectations. Tennessee declined his fifth-year option.

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