Mel Kiper 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Wilson, Fields Among 5 Top 10 QBs After Trades

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2021

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson encourages his teammates during warmups before an NCAA college football game against San Diego State Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/George Frey, Pool)
George Frey/Associated Press

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first overall pick in the latest 2021 NFL mock draft from ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., but then things get wild.

A total of five signal-callers go inside the top 10 as a flurry of trades changes the landscape of the first round.

The Atlanta Falcons move up to No. 2 to select BYU's Zach Wilson, the San Francisco 49ers obtain the seventh pick to take Ohio State's Justin Fields, the Carolina Panthers take Alabama's Mac Jones at No. 8 and the New England Patriots slide up to No. 9 to grab North Dakota State's Trey Lance.

Kiper explained he broke his longstanding tradition of not trying to predict trades in the draft because the strength of this year's quarterback class, combined with the widespread need at the sport's most important position, is almost assuredly going to create movement atop the order.

It says a lot about how Lawrence is perceived that he's a virtual lock to land at No. 1 despite a QB group that features four other potential top-10 picks.

The 21-year-old Tennessee native arrived at Clemson as the top-rated prospect in the country in the 2018 recruiting class, and he lived up to every bit of those sky-high expectations.

He led the Tigers to a national championship as a true freshman and finished his collegiate career with 90 touchdown passes and just 17 interceptions in 40 games.

Now he'll look to bring consistent success to the Jags, who've reached the playoffs once since 2008.

The rest of the quarterback rankings are up for debate, with the biggest being whether Wilson or Fields will be the next one off the board.

Wilson was terrific in 2020, throwing 33 touchdowns with just three picks while leading the Cougars to an 11-1 record and a place in the College Football Playoff conversation until a late-season loss to 18th-ranked Coastal Carolina.

Fields led the Buckeyes to the national championship game before they fell short against Alabama. He connected on six touchdown passes in a semifinal clash with Lawrence and Clemson, finishing the season with 27 total TDs (22 passing and five rushing) in eight appearances.

It's too early to definitively say which of them will be selected first, as it appears fans can expect some chaos after Lawrence is selected to open the draft April 29.