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2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: QB Trevor Lawrence

By: Joe Marino December 20th, 2020 The Draft Network

PROSPECT SUMMARY

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is among the most exceptional talents at the quarterback position to ever enter the NFL. He blends elite physical gifts with exceptional football IQ, leadership traits, and intangibles that make him the type of talent that would be the No. 1 overall selection in almost any draft. Lawrence is accurate with the football to all levels of the field and brings a dynamic athletic profile to the table—which allows him to extend plays, work off-script, and present a nightmare for opponents to defend. While Lawrence is a premier talent, he isn’t without room to grow, particularly in terms of consistency working through progressions. With three seasons of experience as the starter at Clemson, which includes a College Football Playoff appearance every year, Lawrence is equipped to take control of an NFL offense from Day 1 and has the upside to become one of the most dynamic players in the entire NFL. 

Ideal Role: Franchise quarterback 

Scheme Fit: Lawrence fits all schemes but his skill set warrants plenty of chances to push the ball down the field and utilize his impressive athleticism. 

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Joe Marino

Games watched: Georgia Tech (2019), Texas A&M (2019), North Carolina (2019), Syracuse (2019), Virginia (2019), Ohio State (2019), LSU (2019), Wake Forest (2020), Miami (2020), Virginia (2020), Virginia Tech (2020), Notre Dame (2020) 

Best Game Studied: Virginia (2020) 

Worst Game Studied: Georgia Tech (2019) 

Accuracy: Lawrence’s ball placement is generally outstanding to all levels of the field and he consistently puts the ball where he intends for it to go. He does well to identify leverage advantages for his targets down the field and places it favorably for them to make plays on the football. Whether it’s under pressure or on the move, it’s difficult to find any scenario where Lawrence’s accuracy dips to a level meriting concern. His consistent ball placement often leads targets into space and maximizes post-catch opportunities for his weapons to work.  

Decision Making: Lawrence does a terrific job of blending being aggressive but also not putting his team in bad positions. While the Clemson offense features plenty of manufactured throws, he is still tasked with his share of progression-style passes where Lawrence showcases his ability to read coverage and go to the proper places with his throws. Lawrence has just the right amount of arrogance to believe he can make every throw, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an occasional risky decision where he is guilty of having too much faith in his arm. 

Poise: Lawrence never appears rattled and panicky. He is patient in the pocket and allows his routes to develop with no signs of getting antsy. He was thrust into action as a prized recruit with a veteran quarterback in the program and there has never been a moment that looks too big for him despite consistently being on the biggest stages college football has to offer. 

Progressions: Lawrence is comfortable going through his reads and working the entire field in terms of depth and width. He is more than willing to take an extra hitch when necessary, remain balanced, and survey the field. Lawrence can be guilty of holding onto his first read for too long and end up tardy to get to his second read. There are reps where it feels like his intentions with the football are predetermined and he doesn’t come off that idea quick enough.

Release: Lawrence’s throwing motion and release are efficient. He quickly snaps off throws with no elongated movement. It’s easy to love how he transitions at the mesh point when executing RPOs and rapidly getting the ball out of his hands. Lawrence does well to throw from a variety of launch points and still get the football where he wants it to go. 

Pocket Manipulation: Lawrence always keeps his eyes down the field and demonstrates comfort making subtle moves within the pocket to avoid rushers and find throwing windows. He is natural when navigating the pocket in every direction. He isn’t quick to feel a clean pocket and his internal clock appears to be programmed correctly. 

Arm Strength: Lawrence has no limitations in the areas of the field he can challenge. He has the ability to work the football down the field and hit outbreaking patterns to the wide side of the field. There are no concerns with his ability to dial up the fastball and fit the ball into tight windows. Lawrence also knows when to take something off his passes and deliver the football with touch. 

Mobility: Lawrence is a terrific athlete that is an outstanding runner with the football, both by design and when he scrambles. His mobility is a major asset in the red zone and the full playbook is always available with Lawrence in the lineup. He is terrific at extending plays and making things happen outside of structure. 

Leadership: Lawrence has thrived in the Clemson culture, leading the Tigers to a National Championship in 2018 and the College Football Playoff in all three of his seasons as the starting quarterback. He demonstrates incredible toughness with how he finishes runs and puts his body on the line for his teammates. Watching the Clemson offense under Lawrence, it’s obvious he is in full control and command of his unit. Lawrence came to Clemson with lofty expectations and he has absolutely met them. 

Throwing Mechanics: Lawrence is deliberate with his lower-body mechanics to set his platform and rotate through throws with ideal weight transfer. He is capable of finding quick platforms and rapidly setting his feet to get the ball out of his hands. He consistently gets himself properly aligned to make accurate throws. 

Prospect Comparison: Andrew Luck (2012 NFL Draft, Indianapolis Colts) 

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Joe Marino: 95.5/100

Written By:

Joe Marino

Director of Administration

Director of Administration & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Member of the FWAA.

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2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: QB Justin Fields

By: Kyle Crabbs December 18th, 2020 The Draft Network

PROSPECT SUMMARY - JUSTIN FIELDS

Justin Fields projects as a franchise quarterback at the NFL level—he offers the blend of throwing ability, athleticism, stature, and clutch play that will cause NFL teams to fall in love with his evaluation, even if his 2020 campaign showed some cracks in his play. Fields' ability as a passer is top shelf when accounting for his natural delivery and how easily he's proven to be able to throw around defenders or work himself into generating velocity and accuracy when on the move; the Buckeyes embraced rolling the pocket with Fields at quarterback to take advantage of his arm strength and the subsequent access he'll get to all areas of the field as a passer. Fields will kill man-coverage heavy teams with his legs; he's big, strong, and yet still quite dynamic as a runner, so breaking contain and converting third downs with his legs is a large staple of the conflict Fields is capable of putting you into as a player. There are also plenty of examples of Fields successfully engineering option-based reps in the mesh point between zone read, RPO concepts and extending even to sparing use of the speed option, giving his NFL coordinator the full bag of tricks to create conflict defenders and isolate them in the game plan. It's what Fields has largely done best. There are instances of overconfidence in his arm and continuing to quicken his process beyond the first read is a needed point of emphasis for Fields to stay "on schedule" and keep his sack totals down, but that is inevitably going to be part of his game that his pro team will have to be ready to live with in the same way it is true for quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, and others. Their play can be a double-edged sword at times and so it will be for Fields, who is every bit as physically gifted as those previously mentioned passers. Fields will need to arrive to a destination that embraces his ability to win with his legs and the QB run game or else run the risk of a bumpy road early on as a starting NFL quarterback; but if he is paired with a head coach or offensive coordinator who can pull the best parts of his college game and implement them in the NFL, Fields has the potential to splash early. 

Ideal Role: Franchise Quarterback

Scheme Fit: Hybrid Spread/West Coast Offense with QB power run dynamics

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Kyle Crabbs

Games watched: Cincinnati (2019), Wisconsin (2019), Penn State (2019), Michigan (2019), Illinois (2020), Clemson (2019), Nebraska (2020), Penn State (2020), Rutgers (2020), Indiana (2020), Northwestern (2020)

Best Game Studied: Penn State (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Northwestern (2020)

Accuracy: His ability to throw strikes to all levels of the field is impressive; he's done well on vertical throws to drop them over the shoulder just as well as he can lace a far sideline out right on the numbers and in stride with timing. There's plenty of flashes of Fields throwing dimes on the move as well. He'll throw strikes on scramble drills and quickly push the football to uncovered receivers amid the chaos. It is easy to appreciate some of his rock and release red zone work, too—he'll make quick throws in the red area that are tight windows and away from leveraged defenders in tight space, indicating he has that "artistic" eye for the most congested areas of the field. 

Decision Making: There are definitely some instances of overconfidence in his arm; trying to force throws up the seam while ignoring the post defender. His lapses here are exacerbated by his habit of dropping his eyes when he begins to feel the pocket squeeze around him—he's fortunately quite gifted in getting out of those instances and then subsequently finding open receivers or utilizing his legs. He's very proficient to take profits on the boundary against soft coverages and identifying soft spaces in coverage before the snap. He feels like a rhythmic passer. The games he's struggled the most in have come against quality opposition who can get him out of his zone early on and disrupt the flow of the game. 

Poise: Big-time players make big-time plays and Fields has, even in the games where he has struggled, consistently found winning plays throughout the contest. It may not always be as a passer, either—he's got that mobile quarterback dynamic that seemingly all of the NFL's best have to some degree to fall back on when he's pressured and forced to create on his own. Awareness of blitzes can improve, although some of that may be due to the Buckeyes' system and the need to install more easily digestible hots into concepts so he can be drilled on getting the ball out quick to beat the blitz. He's a fearless passer and not afraid to challenge tacklers in one-on-ones if it stands between him and a big play. 

Progressions: He'll get busted habitually sitting on his first read a little too often and as a result, his timing working deeper into his targets can get disrupted and forces his offense into scramble drill. That will be the book on Fields early on, how many answers can his play-caller build into each rep for him through the mesh point—RPOs are likely to be an essential layer to his play as he's first getting acclimated to the NFL level to avoid a heavy workload of scanning full field of play. Based on his current play, he'd probably be most effective highlighting those conflict defenders and working with "gentleman/MOFC" (middle of the field open/closed) progression rules instead of pure progressions. 

Release: Slingshot-style passer who can effortlessly whip the football if he's staring down the barrel of interior pressure and his quick release allows him to get away with some of his prolonged holding of the football for his preferred target to uncover. He's comfortable dropping his arm angle and throwing from a variety of arm slots to avoid crowded throwing lanes and shows no lapses in accuracy when charged with doing so. 

Pocket Manipulation: There are quite a few instances of him dropping his eyes and looking for escape hatches in the pocket, which won't result in as many big plays at the pro level with tighter windows to work with. But he's quite sufficient at forcing the first arriving rusher to miss and climbing or juking his way into space on the perimeter, where he'll get downhill and get momentum behind his delivery. His deep set passing is complemented with an effective hitch to force whiffs by engaged defenders off the edge and buying him the split second he needs to push the ball vertically. 

Arm Strength: There's plenty of juice in his arm and he'll effortlessly spin deep shots down the field as opportunities arise, regardless of whether he's faced with split safeties and taking the deep post or single high and forced to shoot his throws down the sideline. His velocity on the move is the most dangerous dynamic of his arm strength; he can be rolling left and still square himself and work vertically as available. Throws to the far side of the field look as effortless as pitch and catch. 

Mobility: This is a dangerous player in the open field. The quarterback power dynamic to his game, which is complemented by a stocky build to sustain wear and tear on 100-plus carries over a 16-game season, adds further dynamics that will make him challenging to stop, even when he's not humming as a passer (just ask Indiana). There's plenty of long speed to break angles from pass rushers and B-level defenders as he presses for the sideline and he's big enough to physically impose smaller defenders in the secondary or on the perimeter. 

Leadership: Fields transferred in from Georgia and immediately energized the Buckeyes offense. His fearless style of play is easy to root for from afar, let along knowing he's your quarterback. You'll often see Fields exercising the little aspects of leadership; such as a quick correction with a young receiver after a mistimed rep (Northwestern, 2020) or visibly taking accountability for a poor throw (Indiana, 2020). Knowing that Fields is a fearless player and willing to own his share of the shortcomings suggests he'll be a fine leader of a locker room at the pro level as well. Fields has willed big plays into existence with the football over his two years with the Buckeyes and produced an environment in which his teammates fall in line during crunch time to pull out needed plays for the win. 

Mechanics: Some of his quick throws on predesigned screens to the perimeter struggle to be on target but some added focus to snapping the feet will help the cause. He's someone who can easily fall into just leaning into his arm because he's got the physical skill to do so, but when he's throwing with a set base and really rooted in the ground with all his cleats; he'll throw dots all over the field. As with any passer, his consistency does wane when his foundation isn't established; but his rushed ergonomics as a passer still produce better results than his contemporaries on a snap-by-snap basis. 

Prospect Comparison: Dak Prescott (2016 NFL Draft, Dallas Cowboys)

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Kyle Crabbs: 88/100

Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Director of Content

Director of Content & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Former NDT Scouting Overlord.

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2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: QB Zach Wilson

By: Drae Harris December 20th, 2020 The Draft Network

PROSPECT SUMMARY - ZACH WILSON

Zach Wilson plays the game with good athleticism overall, as evidenced by his ability to escape and evade pressure both in and out of the pocket. This athleticism makes him a viable threat in the zone-read, giving opponents another thing to defend. In the passing game, he has made tremendous strides since the 2019 season. Some of these feats are “rare.” In fact, his ability to throw the ball with timing and anticipation is elite. His production in the clutch has been money in several instances in 2020. He plays with the poise and moxie reminiscent of a high NFL draft pick.

Ideal Role: Starting NFL quarterback.

Scheme Fit: A multiple offense with spread principles.

FILM EVALUATION

Games watched: Boise State (2020), WKU (2020), Coastal Carolina (2020), Houston (2020)

Best Game Studied: Boise State (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Coastal Carolina (2020)

Accuracy: Overall, his accuracy has been excellent in spurts. He has moments where he puts the ball away from the defender and other moments where receivers have to come back for the ball. Overall, there have been more instances of excellent accuracy, showing yet another area of progression from 2019 to 2020. 

Decision Making: There were several instances in 2019 of him being careless with the football. However, he's improved overall in this regard. He still has some ill-advised moments where he feels as if he can get away with some of the flashy, look-away plays that have become popular.

Poise: He has always demonstrated excellent poise in the pocket. He has an innate feel for the rush and does an outstanding job keeping his eyes downfield. He has also responded well to adversity to lead his team to victory, which is evident by his 2020 rebound from an inconsistent 2019.

Progressions: He does an excellent job of coming off his primary and checking it down when necessary. In the WKU game (2020), the running back was eager to get out in his route and forgot to chip the linebacker. The linebacker rushes and instead of his throwing it to his open front side slot down the field, he checked it down to the running back who had just leaked out and he scored a touchdown. This is tremendous growth from him, in that regard.

Release: His release is tight, compact, and efficient. That, along with his anticipation and timing, has afforded him the ability to get the ball in tight windows. His ability to change his arm angle to fit the ball where it needs to be is rare, as is his ability to get the ball wherever he needs to due to the fluidity in his release. 

Pocket Manipulation: He has demonstrated an excellent ability to manipulate the pocket. Whenever there’s pressure, he has subtle movements within the pocket and out of the pocket that buys him time. He does an excellent job of booting to his left, flipping his hips around, and delivering a strike. 

Arm Strength: For me, his arm strength isn’t the best attribute of his skill set, as it is for others. However, he certainly has proven to have the ability to get the ball where he needs to get it—particularly in the short-to-intermediate areas. On some of his deep balls, receivers have to stop and come back for it. Again, there's nothing alarming as he can make all of the required NFL throws.

Mobility: His mobility to maneuver in and out of the pocket is a strength. He can extend plays and get to the sticks on critical third downs. He also demonstrates his mobility when booting to his left, flipping his hips, and delivering the football downfield. 

Leadership: It is clear that his personality is infectious and his teammates gravitate toward him. He had to lead them through adversity in 2019 and in 2020. In 2020, they had a large target on their back as a result of the success and notoriety of him personally, as well as the team's overall success. He led them to an outstanding season. 

Mechanics: He throws the football with a wide base, presumably to get enough velocity on the football. Similar to a boxer who strikes from a wide base and ultimately overstrides, this prohibits him from stepping into his throws and getting the hip rotation he needs on some of his balls. 

Prospect Comparison: Tony Romo (2003 NFL Draft, Undrafted)

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Drae Harris: 87/100

Written By:

Drae Harris

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Seven year scouting veteran in the NFL. Ex-Cal Golden Bear and San Francisco 49er.

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Tony Romo is a good comparison to Wilson, but I would also say more so it's Josh Allen as far as play style. I am not worried about his arm, he can throw 40 yards without setting his feet. I think his weaknesses is that he needs to speed up his process reading progressions like all college QBs coming out. I love the way he navigates the pocket and throws the back shoulder pass like a true pro. 

Not sure if Fields is Dak, he holds the ball way too long and he is too slow going through his reads. If I was a GM I would be allergic to any Bama or OSU QBs. 

Edited by QBat3
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Each day we get closer to the draft I feel more and more confident we’re not taking a QB. Don’t see it happening

but for the sake of discussion, I don’t think Fields is going to be very good. Overall didn’t like the 4 games of his I watched. His performance against Clemson included some very high quality throws though. And he has only played 1.5 years of college so there’s potential for untapped development there

Wilson I’ve only looked at 2 games but I’ll admit I was genuinely intrigued. Like someone else mentioned, his game reminds me of current (accurate) Josh Allen

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4 hours ago, isproab said:

Trevor Lawrence looks like the perfect prospect with no weakness according to this write up.  Honestly, I like Fields more.  They will forever be tied together we will see how their careers ultimately work out.

Yep.  The coming years will be interesting to see their progession.

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8 hours ago, QBat3 said:

Tony Romo is a good comparison to Wilson, but I would also say more so it's Josh Allen as far as play style. I am not worried about his arm, he can throw 40 yards without setting his feet. I think his weaknesses is that he needs to speed up his process reading progressions like all college QBs coming out. I love the way he navigates the pocket and throws the back shoulder pass like a true pro. 

Not sure if Fields is Dak, he holds the ball way too long and he is too slow going through his reads. If I was a GM I would be allergic to any Bama or OSU QBs. 

Yeah kinda I would compare Trask to Josh Allen

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15 minutes ago, GATXBOI said:

Yeah kinda I would compare Trask to Josh Allen

Haven't heard that one before, I've seen him compared to big Ben, I like him as well, he would be a good backup who can eventually take over. 

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6 hours ago, youngbloodz said:

Trevor will be a monster in the nfl long as Jax doesn’t screw it up

I think you’re right.  Oddly enough it was the game most are criticizing him for that sold me.  He was brutally beaten all game last week.  With no run game, his OC out with covid and poor play up front, Lawrence racked up 400 yards passing and showed he can take a hit with the best of them

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10 hours ago, isproab said:

Trevor Lawrence looks like the perfect prospect with no weakness according to this write up.  Honestly, I like Fields more.  They will forever be tied together we will see how their careers ultimately work out.

I agree ... i also believe the new rivalry will be Fields (Falcons) vs Lance (Panthers)

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