Let’s face it, there’s not much more fun in dynasty fantasy football, outside of the playoffs, than your rookie draft. So, let’s get to it! Who better to start with than the QBs? There are three who stand neck and neck atop my QB rankings, and to be honest, an NFL team probably couldn’t go wrong choosing any of them.
- Mac Jones, Alabama: Remember last year when Joe Burrow blew away almost every college quarterback record? In 2020, Mac Jones’ numbers were better. You may be wondering, is it Alabama’s system? Is Mac Jones just a “system” quarterback? All college and pro quarterbacks are “system” quarterbacks. Every coach has an offensive “system,” and I’m pretty damn sure I couldn’t show up and run the Alabama “system,” but Mac Jones certainly did! And he did it better than Tua too. Sure, Jones only played one and a half seasons as the starter, so his sample size is smaller, but in this past season where he started every game, his completion percentage jumped 8.2%! In a larger sample of games, he played better this year than last.
2. Justin Fields, Ohio State: Yes, I know he had that monster 6 TD game on New Year’s Day, but that’s not why I’m ranking him #2 here. He has played on the big stage every game of his career and has improved each season. Fields is a kid who started out at Georgia, and when it was made clear that he would not unseat Jake (from State) Fromm as the starter, he packed his bags and took his skills to Ohio State. He gambled on himself and backed it up. That’s moxie. Justin is a guy who knows his own worth and won’t settle for the status quo. If I’m an NFL General Manager, this the guy I want leading my team in the locker room and on the field. Not to mention, in just 33 games, he chipped in over 1,000 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns.
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson: Yes, I know it’s blasphemy to rank golden boy this low, but I believe he’s overrated because he’s the brand name we’re familiar with. He’s been a three-year starter at Clemson, and yes, much of their success is because of Sunshine. (If you don’t know that reference, shame on you. Go look it up.) Every NFL coach and GM have been watching Trevor Lawrence for three years and have seen more tape on him than anyone else. Because NFL GM’s like job security, the Jacksonville Jaguars will go the safe route and make Trevor the #1 pick in the draft. That’s great in the real world, but not in your dynasty draft. If you pick him #1, say hello to Sam Darnold 2.0 and enjoy many seasons of stunningly adequate quarterback play.
4. Zach Wilson, BYU: He had a stellar season with a better completion percentage than Trevor Lawrence. The only red flag for potential dynasty drafters and NFL GMs is that before this year, his completion percentage, his accuracy, if you will, was a pedestrian mid-60s %. Some might be wondering if 2020 was a fluke. The chances are that he is a talented college QB, but his NFL success may depend on his landing spot. He would be a great candidate for the Detroit Lions to pick so he can sit behind whatever bridge quarterback they pick up for a season before taking the reins.
5. Trey Lance, North Dakota State University: Here’s where your dynasty draft and the NFL draft start to get interesting. Trey Lance is not NFL ready, but he has showcased some eye candy plays that have pro scouts drooling. Lance has elite “arm talent.” He can unleash on-target bombs downfield and has the accuracy to fit it into tight windows on shorter throws. Trey is also a very talented, instinctive running QB who had 870 yards rushing in 14 games in his lone full season. He has a limited number of college games under his belt, but he has shown Lamar Jackson type potential. From an analysis point of view, the downside is that he played only 15 college games and just one in 2020. He’s a project that probably won’t start game one for his 2021 NFL team unless Covid wipes out the rest of the quarterback room. If he sits the first half of the season, adjusting to the NFL speed at his own pace instead of being thrown to the wolves in Week 1, he may have the tools to light a fire under a team.
6. Shane Buechele, SMU: The fifth-year senior started for SMU the last two seasons after transferring from Texas, where he started as a true freshman but was unseated during his second year by Sam Ehlinger. He didn’t have monster stats in his two seasons at SMU, but he was highly efficient and accurate. He takes good care of the ball with only 16 picks in two years. Shane definitely won’t be an NFL first-round pick, but he will be chosen, and he’ll reward some team with a surprisingly mature and effective QB who can carry a team with his leadership. Depending on his landing spot in the NFL, he could be worthy of a dynasty draft third-round pick and will pay great dividends for the wily owner that makes that pick.
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