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Who is the Rookie QB2 After Trevor Lawrence? (2021 Fantasy Football)

Feb 24, 2021

Our writers have already written about the top rookie running backs as well as who the best rookie wide receiver is from this year’s draft class. This week we’re tackling quarterbacks, but with a twist.

Q: Who is the Rookie QB2 after Trevor Lawrence?

Justin Fields (QB – Ohio State)
I need to make a distinction with this selection. If I was running a NFL Front office and had to pick my second-ranked quarterback in the NFL Draft, I would give the slight nod to Zach Wilson. I think he is the more polished passer of the two prospects and he has more upside in the pro game than Fields. Furthermore, Ohio State has had several quarterbacks that were drafted in recent years and nobody has had much success at the NFL level to date. However, Fields is an elite prospect and he is expected to run his 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and he has much better legs than Wilson. Wilson will probably run his 40-yard dash in only 4.8 seconds. Those additional rushing yards and rushing touchdowns are going to make him the better fantasy player in 2021, provided he goes to a team with some offensive weapons that can allow him to have some success in the passing game. After Lawrence, Fields has the most fantasy upside of the remaining quarterbacks for 2021.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

The second-best quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft is an easy choice for me. Justin Fields from Ohio State is the prototypical quarterback that NFL teams are looking for right now. Everyone seems to be flocking toward Zach Wilson as QB2 among rookie quarterbacks, only for Fields to be a more polished passer coming into the NFL. Fields, a two-year starter for the Buckeyes, has combined for 63 passing touchdowns and only nine interceptions as a starter at Ohio State. He’s also produced a 92.1 QBR in college, which puts him in the 96th percentile among quarterbacks. Another reason to prefer Fields is his rushing upside. The former Georgia transfer accumulated 867 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns during his time at Ohio State.
– Skyler Carlin (@skyler_carlin)

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Zach Wilson (QB – BYU)
Although my initial inclination was to prefer Fields as my QB2, I’d like to make the case for someone else: Zach Wilson. Wilson has all the raw tools of a great QB, and with the recent rise to stardom of similar strong-arm throwers like Justin Herbert and Josh Allen, it would be shocking if Wilson were to drop out of the top-five in the upcoming NFL draft. However, what stands out to me, as opposed to the Herbert or Allen, is Wilson’s efficiency and effectiveness as a passer (where Allen and Herbert were a bit sporadic). Specifically, Wilson ranked as the top QB in PFF passing grade (95.5 last season, while ranking second in terms of passer rating (144.2) in a clean pocket and sixth (98.6) when under pressure. This suggests that Wilson can succeed – at least against the competition he’s faced thus far – independent of his situation. If he were to land with on a team with a strong receiving corps (e.g., Panthers or Falcons), we may see him thrive for many years to come.
– Jared Lese (@JaredL_FF)

Mac Jones (QB – Alabama)
I am going to be contrarian here because most people have Jones as no better than the third best quarterback in this draft. I know the knock on most Alabama products is that they have so much talent around them and Jones is no outlier there. He had Devonta Smith, Najee Harris, Jaylen Waddle, and one of the best offensive lines in college football at his disposal last fall. However, when you turn on the tape, you see a quarterback who is adept at making the correct reads and one who’s deep ball accuracy (over 50% on pass 20+ yard beyond the LOS) is as good as anyone in this draft class. Jones had a stellar 2020 season (4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns) that I don’t believe is a flash in the pan. He is likely to go to a team that is in a better position to give him the tools to be successful as well.
– Jason Kamlowsky (@JasonKamlowsky)

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