The NFL Draft is finally here and with it a whole new crop of players for you to worry about. There are dozens and dozens of names, to learn, but for fantasy football purposes, there are probably only about 50 or 60 guys you really need to worry about. Let’s break these guys down with 10 Second Scouting, the maiden voyage of a series that lets us do the hard work for you to give you an idea of what to expect from fantasy football rookies in 2021 and beyond. Let’s start the same way the 2021 NFL Draft will start: quarterbacks.
This is a top-heavy class without a lot of good sleeper prospects, but one that could provide somewhere between one and three fantasy football impact players.
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (6’6” 220 pounds) | Rookie Dynasty 1QB ADP: 1.10
Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck and has been since his high school days. He’s the total package; height, weight, athleticism, quarterback prowess. Clemson used him as a precision strike artist underneath who has a nice deep ball (though Clemson didn’t really let him use it).. He is the consensus top quarterback in the NFL Draft and has a shot to contribute immediately as a streamer in 2021 fantasy football leagues.
NFL Comparison: Smarter and Stronger Justin Herbert
Zach Wilson, BYU (6’2” 214 pounds) | Rookie Dynasty 1QB ADP: 2.08
Wilson has a deep decision-making tree and the willingness to hold the ball late into the down due to his fearlessness. BYU tasked him with a lot of quick-hitter throws which frequently hid his arm talent, which he decided to frequently display anyway by bombing out footballs against bad competition. He has a YOLO mentality, which can be good for a quarterback, but it can also be terrible. He likely ends up with the Jets, which limits his fantasy football potential in year one. If he slips past them to the 49ers, he could end up as a streamer in the second half of the year.
NFL Comparison: Baker Mayfield
Justin Fields, Ohio State (6’3” 228 pounds) | Rookie Dynasty 1QB ADP: 2.04
Justin Fields and Kyle Shanahan are the best possible combination for Fields’ NFL career. Unfortunately, it looks like not San Francisco is the odds-on favorite to get Fields, much to my dismay. He’s my favorite non-Trevor Lawrence QB in this class, thanks to his decision-making, toughness, and athleticism. He’s a smart and strong quarterback, who does well inside and outside of the pocket. Just watch his game against Clemson to get wowed. If the 49ers draft him in the NFL Draft, he’s a double-digit round guy if you decide to take two quarterbacks in a 1QB league. If someone else takes him, he moves into streamer territory with a chance to make an impact starts down the stretch for your fantasy football team.
NFL Comparison: Dak Prescott
Trey Lance, North Dakota State (6’4 226 pounds) | Rookie Dynasty 1QB ADP: 2.10
Trey Lance is the class’s Wild Card. He could go as high as two, or slip down to seven. Either way, he’s the fourth of the five quarterbacks likely to go in the top ten. Lance is big, strong, and athletic, with a massive arm and questionable decision-making skills. The Bisons played just one game in 2020, but he ended his collegiate career with 318 pass attempts for 30 touchdowns and one interception. He can scoot, too, posting 1,100 rushing yards in his lone full season in 2019. Lance is a great 2022 sleeper quarterback but needs seasoning before mattering for fantasy football leagues.
NFL Comparison: Josh Allen
Michael MacCorkle “Mac” Jones, Alabama (6’3” 217 pounds) | Rookie Dynasty 1QB ADP: 3.07
I don’t like McCorkle very much at all. I think that he let the good guys do the hard work a lot of the time at Alabama, and he’s riding that production to a top-ten (and maybe top-five) pick. Jones has a dad bod, two DUIs under his belt, and an entire media complex trying to brush both of those things under the rug. A third of his pass attempts were at or behind the line of scrimmage. He isn’t mobile and doesn’t want to push it downfield, though his accuracy, ball placement, and decision-making skills (on-field only) are his best traits. He is fine for the NFL but doesn’t excite me for fantasy football leagues his rookie year.
NFL Comparison: Kirk Cousins
Kyle Trask, Florida (6’5” 236 pounds) | Rookie Dynasty 1QB ADP: 3.06
Trask, Mills and Mond represent a massive step-down at QB from the top five. Trask has good ball placement and accuracy, and his arm is good enough to play in the NFL. He’s a decent developmental guy for the Raiders or the Broncos if they want to give Derek Carr or Drew Lock an extra year to prove themselves. Trask is good when the pocket stays strong but falls apart along with the pocket. Trask has serious issues anticipating pass rush angles and drills himself into the ground. And he loves to fumble the football, losing 7 fumbles in 24 games the last two seasons. I’m not interested in him for fantasy football purposes during his rookie year.
NFL Comparison: Nick Mullens
Davis Mills, Stanford (6’4” 225 pounds) | Rookie Dynasty 1QB ADP: N/A
Mills built his college pedigree around short and intermediate placement, with the occasional deep ball. His decision-making can be a huge problem, but he has a great touch with decent accuracy. He could get a handful of starts down the line in the right situation, but that doesn’t mean anything for 2020 fantasy football. He’s a developmental guy who will likely be better in real life than in fantasy. Think the Nick Foles career arc in the Jimmy Garoppolo skillset as a best-case scenario.
NFL Comparison: Jimmy Garoppolo
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M (6’3” 211 pounds) | Rookie Dynasty 1QB ADP: N/A
Kellen Mond is a great “grip it and rip it” quarterback. Unfortunately, if anything breaks down, or he has to do too much procession, he falls apart. Mond is athletic and uses his athleticism well at times and as an excuse to leave the pocket and run other times, even before passing options fully develop. He has very little arm strength when it comes to football zip, and he also has no touch with the football. He could be a noodle-armed version of Colin Kaepernick in the NFL, which could have some fantasy football appeal down the line. For now, he’s a project quarterback for the team that takes him in the NFL Draft.
NFL Comparison: Colin Kaepernick (now)
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Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trevor_Lawrence.jpg
Average Draft Position per fantasyfootballcalculator.com, height and weight per nbcsports.com/edge
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