Yet another Super Bowl-winning, MVP quarterback has suggested Jacksonville should draft someone other than Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The first was Brett Favre, who on Tuesday said Jacksonville should draft Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith and get a quarterback either later in the draft or in free agency. Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann on Thursday told CBS Sports HQ he would draft another player at the position.
“(It’s) really close,” Theismann told host Amanda Guerra. “We are sort of splitting hairs here a little bit but I would take (BYU quarterback Zach Wilson over Lawrence) as a matter of fact.”
Said Theismann: “I think Zach, obviously, I just love the way he throws the football. It is hard to teach. We have seen people learn to perfect it a little bit. He has all the skills; he has a live arm, he has a strong arm, he can put touch on it, he can gun it. He is 6-3, he is not a small guy. He moves around with great athleticism. I think, to me, watching him play quarterback, he looks really ready.”
In explaining his choice, Theismann also raised the question of whether Lawrence’s game was elevated because of the incredible skill position players he had as his supporting cast:
“It is a little bit like Mac Jones at Alabama: They are surrounded by terrific talent and sometimes you look at that talent and say, ‘Did that help the position a lot?'” Theismann said. “I think in the case of Trevor, being a young guy and as strong and physical as he is, he will have a great opportunity to learn, as will Mac and all the young guys, Justin Fields, as well, out of Ohio State.
“I just think coming into this particular draft, Zach checks all of the boxes for me. Personally, my choice. My guy.”
Ultimately, Theismann’s opinion matters little in the final decision — that will come down to coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke, who many believe will take Lawrence No. 1 overall. (To be fair, Meyer left the door open for a non-Lawrence pick at No. 1 overall).
The former Clemson signal-caller has seemed destined for the No. 1 overall pick since his freshman season in 2018, which he capped with an incredible performance in the College Football Playoff. He combined to complete 47 of 71 passes (66.2 percent) for 674 yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 178.3 against Notre Dame and Alabama, leading Clemson to the first ever 15-0 season of the modern college football era.
Nothing Lawrence has done since then has detracted from those incredible breakout performances. He has shown more than big-play ability and big-game presence, too: He has a cannon for an arm, prototypical size for an NFL quarterback (6-6, 220 pounds), athleticism, accuracy and more.
Then there’s Wilson, the 6-3, 210-pound BYU quarterback who created a ton of value for himself in 2020 by completing 247 of 336 passes for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He enters the draft as one of the class’ most polished passers and seems a clear consensus No. 2 pick by the Jets.
Whether the Jaguars heed Favre and Theismann’s advice remains to be seen. For what it’s worth, Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer projects Lawrence to go No. 1 overall, followed by Wilson at No. 2. But we won’t find out for sure who goes where until the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on April 29.