Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the undisputed top player available in the 2021 NFL Draft and most analysts agree that he’s the most talented quarterback prospect to come along since Andrew Luck in 2012.
The Indianapolis Colts selected Luck with the first overall pick that year and the Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to do the same with Lawrence on April 29.
In order to understand just how good of a prospect Lawrence is, it’s helpful to dive into quarterback rankings of draft analysts who’ve been around for a long time and see where Lawrence would rank alongside some of history’s top passers.
The longest-running NFL draft analyst is Mel Kiper Jr., who recently published his all-time quarterback prospect rankings in a fun post on ESPN. Kiper’s work dates back to 1979, so needless to say, he’s studied and ranked some of the NFL’s all-time great quarterbacks.
According to Kiper’s list, Lawrence is the fourth-best quarterback prospect he’s ever evaluated.
Elway and Manning are both Hall of Famers and Luck appeared to be on his way to a Hall of Fame career before prematurely retiring in 2019.
Kiper’s rankings shine more light on just how high the expectations are for Lawrence, who’s assumed to flip the Jaguars from an irrelevant franchise to a Super Bowl contender. Let’s face it, Jacksonville has never been considered one of the NFL’s top franchises. In fact, they’ve been one of the most insignificant clubs since they joined the NFL in 1995.
That’s all changed this offseason with the hiring of coach Urban Meyer, and the eventual selection of Lawrence, who even without taking a single snap will be one of the league’s biggest superstars this summer.
And if Kiper’s rankings are accurate, if Lawrence turns out to be a John Elway/Andrew Luck/Peyton Manning type of NFL quarterback, the Jaguars will hoist a Lombardi Trophy at some point in the next decade.