2021 Pre-Draft Rookie Best Fits – Quarterbacks

Updated: April 19th 2021

The best part about being a dynasty player during the pre-draft offseason is the wishful guessing of where top prospects will go. While not always the case a perfect match between a player’s skills and team’s need/coaching philosophy can solidify their spot as an early first-round selection or present the opportunity for them to shoot up the rankings in the post-draft landscape. We only have to look back to last year’s draft where Clyde Edwards-Helaire was projecting as a mid-first to early second-round selection in most rookie drafts but soared to 1.01-1.02 levels when Kansas City scooped him up with their first pick.

For this article series, we will put our rose-colored glasses on for the top prospects at each position in 2021 to see who could be this year’s CEH. I want to give a big shout-out to Matt Waldman and his yearly Rookie Scouting Portfolio (RSP) for giving in-depth analysis on all of these players and being a huge influence on this article. I will not be giving any specifics directly from his work but if you want to know more than you could imagine on any given rookie each year, I highly suggest you check out his work here. As well, the average rankings for rookies provided will be coming from Dynasty League Football (DLF) so for the full list of player rankings go check them out.

Not every perfect landing spot I will suggest coincides with an immediate starting spot being open. Rather I am also looking to the future to see where openings may present themselves in the future based on other player’s contracts or overall fit with the team. Time as the understudy to a veteran may be more beneficial long term than just being thrust into the lineup as the immediate answer.

In the first part, we will look at the quarterbacks. For the interest of time-saving, I am going to skip Trevor Lawrence who is 99.9% locked into Jacksonville and therefore would be unlikely to project him anywhere else.

Justin Fields – Ohio State

DLF Ranking – 15th (2nd SuperFlex)

NFL Draft – Top 10 Selection

Best Fit – 1.03, San Francisco 49ers

Justin Fields is the player to watch if you like drama in the draft as there appears to be an open competition between Mac Jones, Trey Lance, and himself for the third (3rd) quarterback off the board. The 49ers should take Fields as his ability to move around the pocket better than Jones and is more pro-ready than Trey Lance at this point. This would give defences nightmares with their current offensive weapons trying to also account for the running abilities that Fields can bring. The only thing stopping Kyle Shanahan from taking Fields would be his hesitancy for Fields’ mobility to create more ad-lib plays. Following the script and following exactly Shanahan’s guidelines is really what is keeping Jones in the conversation at third overall.

Mac Jones – Alabama

DLF – 29th (14th SF)

NFL Draft – Top 15 Selection

Best Fit – 1.04, Atlanta Falcons

While maybe not the sexiest pick ever, the similarities in Mac Jones and Matt Ryan would be a perfect mentor-to-peer transition for the Falcons. The team still has solid talent around the quarterback position but is stuck as a bottom feeder roster overall. The talk of trading Matt Ryan was also rumored throughout the start of the offseason which likely means that his days in Atlanta are left between one and two more seasons tops. Like the 49ers, I think giving 10-17 games of watching a veteran would do more for Mac Jones to learn the game the right way with Arthur Smith and be able to take the job fully by 2022 than to try and move him directly into a starting role with minimal offseason coaching or lesser talent around him.

Trey Lance – North Dakota State

DLF – 24th (12th SF)

NFL Draft – Top 15 Selection

Best Fit – 1.15, New England Patriots

This move would likely require a trade-up from New England as other teams like Denver, Detroit, and maybe still Carolina or even Minnesota at 12 would take him before New England is on the clock. If they were to get Trey Lance though it would be everything that we saw for the first two (2) games of 2020 with Cam Newton without the collapse from the final 14 games. Though Lance played against lower competition at NDSU, he was calling his own checks and audibles which is a big bonus to learning the Erhardt-Perkins offense that the Patriots use. The old Patriot system left with Tom Brady and if they were to take Trey Lance they would be fully embracing the new-aged mobile pocket NFL.

Davis Mills – Stanford

DLF – 65th (64th SF)

NFL Draft – 2nd/3rd Round

Best Fit – 2.51, Washington FT / 2.55, Pittsburgh Steelers

A project quarterback, Davis Mills is likely to be a day two selection by a team that has a veteran already but is looking to the future. Both Washington and Pittsburgh will need new starters in 2022 and neither team projects to be able to draft a top prospect in the top 10 next year so why not take a shot at developing a second-round talent. Mills can learn behind Ryan Fitzpatrick or Ben Roethlisberger, who both are more traditional pocket passers now but could move around the pocket and take off as needed in their younger days like Mills. While he might not turn into a top-10 quarterback, Mills could follow in the footsteps of a player like Derek Carr to become a staple QB2 who also came out of day two of the draft.

Kellen Mond – Texas A&M

DLF – 55th (45th SF)

NFL Draft – 3rd Round

Best Fit – 3.74, Washington FT / 3.87, Pittsburgh Steelers

Whichever team does not get Mills a round earlier between Washington and Pittsburgh I could also see them pivoting and waiting for another round to take Kellen Mond out of Texas A&M. Truthfully, I am not as sold on Mond being anything more than a practice squad/3rd string option but he would have the ability to again learn behind either veteran. Especially behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was a former seventh-round selection, Mond could learn how best to keep his NFL dream alive longer than many would project him to.

Kyle Trask – Florida

DLF – 46th (19th SF)

NFL Draft – Late 1st/2nd Round

Best Fit – 1.28, New Orleans Saints

Before diving more into Kyle Trask and only watching him casually I thought he was going to be a steal for teams that were not in the top 10 already. His last collegiate game left a bitter taste in some mouths but that should not be a reason for him to slip into the second round. The Saints are in cap hell and should be looking for a cheap quarterback option to have over the next four/five years, even with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill on the roster. Michael Thomas can play the Kyle Pitts role of “big man over the middle” and then Micky Loomis can look for a complementary receiver in the mid-rounds to fill out the offense. It always helps to have a superstar running back, Alvin Kamara, who can both run and catch for big plays out of the backfield too.

Zach Wilson, QB – BYU

DLF – 21st (4th SF)

NFL Draft – Top 10 Selection

Best Fit – 1.09, Denver Broncos

Zach Wilson is almost as guaranteed to go second overall to the Jets as Trevor Lawrence is to go first. While he could fit in New York with Robert Saleh and OC Mike LaFleur I think he would develop better in the smaller market and with the better offensively talented Denver Broncos. Wilson has a Baker Mayfield level of swagger that if it works in New York will make him one of the poster-QBs for the NFL. History tells us though that bright lights burn out quicker in New York and a slow start to his career could wreck an otherwise talented player. Wilson is everything that Drew Lock is but better as a quarterback prospect and clearly would be a player that John Elway would race his card up to the podium if he was to be available. Wilson with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Noah Fant, and KJ Hamler would give him all the tools he needs to succeed.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews