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Are Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields worth the price to trade up in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Oct 3, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) looks to make a pass during their game against Virginia at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2020 college football season rolls on, it’s becoming more and more likely that we already know the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. The preseason favorites in Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields have picked up right where they left off, putting together a handful of dominant outings littered with “wow” throws. 

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Coincidentally, as the NFL season rolls on, it’s becoming more and more clear that the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars will do whatever it takes to earn the No. 1 and No. 2 overall draft picks. So, where does that leave everyone else?

Though Fields currently ranks as PFF’s No. 1 college quarterback in 2020, posting a 93.8 overall grade, pundits have made it clear that Lawrence is the crown jewel of the draft class. Both quarterbacks get knocked a bit for playing in relatively basic offensive schemes that make their jobs easier, but you can’t credit a scheme for the incredible individual plays they make. There’s also some Ohio State quarterback bias in here, no question, but you have to scout the player and not the school.

As remarkable as these two players are, this is not the first time this decade we have seen a clear-cut one-two punch at quarterback in the NFL draft. In fact, it’s the fourth time since 2012. 

Year No. 1 Overall No. 2 Overall
2012 Andrew Luck Robert Griffin III
2015 Jameis Winston Marcus Mariota
2016 Jared Goff Carson Wentz
2021 Trevor Lawrence? Justin Fields?

Recency bias would lead us to believe that this year’s duo is more highly touted than those in past years, but that’s not really the case. 

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