That leaves the big question of which quarterback will be drafted second? The New York Jets hold the second pick and after the Sam Darnold experiment, the Jets appear ready to move on and pick another franchise – hopefully – quarterback.
Here, we break down who will be the second QB drafted in the 2021 NFL draft.
The Sure Thing
There are six quarterbacks that could go in Round 1 of this year’s draft. With Lawrence going first to Jacksonville, the likely second pick is BYU QB Zach Wilson. The 6-3 junior is the favorite to be the second quarterback drafted at -175.
The question could be who drafts him. The Jets could roll the dice with Darnold now that they have a new head coach in Robert Saleh. There has been some chatter about trading out of No. 2 to collect a few more draft picks.
Carolina and San Francisco are two teams that would love to have a shot at a franchise rookie quarterback. Regardless, the sure thing is that Wilson is the second quarterback off the board.
But, what if the Jets do trade out of No. 2 and they work a deal with a team that would prefer a quarterback that is a bit more mobile?
The answer there would be Ohio State’s Justin Fields, who was the likely No. 2 until Wilson exploded onto the scene this season with almost 3,700 yards passing and 36 touchdowns. Fields was equally as good completing over 70 percent of his passes for 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns in just seven games. He added 383 rushing yards and five more touchdowns on the ground.
San Francisco would love a mobile quarterback now that Jimmy Garoppolo is likely on the way out. Fields as the second quarterback taken is given +175 odds and makes sense if the team choosing him has the need for a mobile signal-caller.
Take a Chance
While he would seem to be more of a longshot, the odds say that North Dakota State’s Trey Lance has a shot at being the second quarterback taken. Lance is given +250 odds to be the No. 2 QB off the board. He played just one full season for the Bison. Lance was a redshirt freshman who guided NDSU to a 15-0 record and yet another national championship in 2019. The Bison played just one game last season beating Central Arkansas 39-28.
Lance has all the measurables and he made it through his entire redshirt freshman season without throwing a single interception. He threw for 2,786 yards and rushed for another 1,100. Lance totaled 42 touchdowns.
It’s not likely to happen, but a team that wants to take a chance on developing Lance could trade into the No. 2 slot and take him. Doubtful, but it could happen.
The only realistic longshot that could go No. 2 is Mac Jones. This is the guy that played nearly perfectly throughout Alabama’s national championship season.
Jones’ numbers are absolutely outstanding. He completed 77.4 percent of his passes for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns. In the championship game, Jones was at his best hitting 80 percent of his throws for 464 yards and five scores.
Again, the right team would need to select Jones, whose ability outside the pocket is his biggest question mark. Would the Jets roll the dice on someone like Jones with Wilson still available? Possible, but not likely. Still, a small wager at +1600 might be worth it.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.