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The 2021 QB Class Proves the NFL Draft is a Gamble

Unsurprisingly, Trevor Lawrence has been the standard bearer of the quarterback class from the 2021 NFL Draft. After all, he was the first player taken among all aspirants during Urban Meyer’s brief tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But his game went to another level when the Jaguars changed coaches from Meyer to Doug Pederson. He became a Pro Bowler after leading Jacksonville to the playoffs and generating a come-from-behind victory against the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card Round.

However, he suffered a down year last season, throwing for 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. A miserable 2024 campaign could see him follow in the footsteps of his fellow 2021 rookie quarterbacks.

While Lawrence is hanging by a thread as a success story, the other QBs taken in 2021 prove that there are more misses than hits in the NFL Draft.

Five of the ten quarterbacks selected that year went in the first round. Unfortunately, only Lawrence will remain with the team that drafted him.

Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in that draft, could be going elsewhere after the New York Jets allowed him to seek a trade. The former BYU standout might be on his way to his next team after putting up his New Jersey home for sale. Rumor has it that the San Francisco 49ers might acquire him for a seventh-round pick.

After Lawrence and Wilson went off the board, the 49ers traded up with the Miami Dolphins for Trey Lance. He is already with the Dallas Cowboys after an August 2023 trade that earned San Francisco a fourth-round pick in return.

The Chicago Bears selected Justin Fields 11th overall. Three years later, they traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick.

Finally, the New England Patriots took Mac Jones at 15. While he became a Pro Bowler during his rookie season, he fizzled over the next two seasons and shared playing time with Bailey Zappe. The Patriots traded him to the Jaguars for a 2024 sixth-rounder.

Three of the next five quarterbacks drafted are still with their original teams but as backups. Kyle Trask couldn’t beat Baker Mayfield in Tampa Bay, while Davis Mills is no match for 2023 Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud. Sam Ehlinger is still under contract with the Indianapolis Colts but as a third-stringer behind Anthony Richardson and Joe Flacco.

As for the two remaining quarterbacks in the 2021 draft class, Ian Book is with the Kansas City Chiefs on a futures contract, while Kellen Mond is a free agent.

The fate of these players finalizes the claim that the 2021 QB class is a disaster.

-Lance Fernandez

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