Zach Wilson ‘the best quarterback’ in 2021 NFL Draft, says Chris Simms












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Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms gives his verdict on the five young quarterbacks projected to go in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday.

Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms gives his verdict on the five young quarterbacks projected to go in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday.

Quarterback is king in the NFL. And there is no greater example of that than the NFL Draft, where the urge to find the ‘future of the franchise’ invariably leads to a scramble to pick one of the top talents coming out of college.

And the 2021 Draft is set to take that scramble to the extreme, with it expected that quarterbacks will be taken with each of the top three picks for the first time since 1999, while four in four is also possible – and would make history – and five could go in the top 10.

Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms spoke to Sky Sports and gave his verdict on those five young QBs – Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, Trey Lance and Justin Fields – and how he sees Thursday’s draft unfolding.

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Watch all three days of the 2021 NFL Draft unfold on Sky Sports NFL, April 29-May 1, starting with live build-up to day one at 8pm on Thursday, April 29 with the first picks expected to be made just after 1am.

‘Wilson is the best QB in the draft’

Simms: “I love Zach Wilson. For my money, he is the best quarterback in the draft.

“My big, broad statement about him would be, when I studied him, I felt like I was watching Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes-ish kind of play.

Zach Wilson is projected to be taken by the New York Jets with the No 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

Zach Wilson is projected to be taken by the New York Jets with the No 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

“He has the most gifted arm in the draft, that is for sure – it’s not even close – and in all areas.

“If you’re talking about accuracy, it’s between him and Mac Jones. But then there’s also the power in his arm which, like a Rodgers or Mahomes, is very special. It’s also the power he has in awkward positions – on the run – and that is life in the NFL these days, and what has made Rodgers and Mahomes so good.

“When everybody is covered and there are people all over them in the pocket, they can throw it sidearm for a 30-yard completion. That is what I see from Wilson.

“He has a really special arm, he is a really good athlete, with great feet and he can scramble and extend plays. But, when he gets outside of the pocket, he doesn’t necessarily want to run, he wants to make a big throw and only runs if he has to.

‘Lawrence will still be drafted No 1’

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Watch as Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is put through his paces at his pro day.

Watch as Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is put through his paces at his pro day.

Simms: “I like Trevor Lawrence. I don’t want people to think that I don’t.

“He is still worthy of the number one overall pick – and I expect that he will be – but if it was my team, and my offense, I’d want Wilson.

“I think with Jacksonville, you’ve got Urban Meyer – the new head coach there coming from college football – and he took the job because of Lawrence, he knew he was going to get him at number one. He’s obviously a guy he’s had his eye on for a while.

“Also, I expect Meyer to run a college-type offense compared to what we normally see in the NFL, certainly more of that element than the ‘pro style’ that Wilson or Mac Jones come from in college.

“They feel like Lawrence is a fit for how they want to play. And there’s a lot to like about him – he’s big, he’s a good athlete and he has a good arm, though I’m not going to say a great arm.”

Who do the 49ers picks at No 3?

Simms: “The 49ers have obviously seen something in one of these three quarterbacks, and I would think they’ve moved up to number three because there’s one guy they truly fancy.

“They’re going to do their homework on all of the guys and all that, but I still think that move was made for Mac Jones.

Alabama's Mac Jones has been tipped to land with the San Francisco 49ers with the No 3 overall pick in the draft

Alabama’s Mac Jones has been tipped to land with the San Francisco 49ers with the No 3 overall pick in the draft

“I’m friends with Kyle Shanahan, I went to college with him, and Jones seems like his kind of quarterback if you look at his history.

“They’ve made it clear that they’re nearing the end with Jimmy Garoppolo, they’re looking to move on and improve that position for their football team. We’ll see who it’s going to be, but my money is on Jones.

Where will Fields and Lance be drafted?

Simms: “I wouldn’t be shocked to see Trey Lance and Justin Fields drop down the board a little bit. There is some rawness about their football games that I’ve said from the start that I don’t think is ‘top five’ worthy.

Where will Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields land at the 2021 NFL Draft?

Where will Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields land at the 2021 NFL Draft?

“To me, ‘top five’ is a guy that is super talented, NFL-ready to play right now. That is where I have my questions.

“Atlanta [picking at No 4] is going to be the key to the draft, as far as that is concerned. But, as we get closer, I really feel less and less that they are going to go for a quarterback.

“They’ve got Matt Ryan. He has plenty of years left and in the NFL we’re seeing quarterbacks play till 40 and beyond, playing at a high level. I don’t think you give up one that is good for a guy who we think could work for us three years down the road – that time in the NFL is over.

“I think it’s going to be the tight end Kyle Pitts from Florida – and that’s what I would do if I was the Falcons. And then that’s where it gets interesting then, in terms of where those two guys fall.

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North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance’s massive launch draws cheers at his pro day workout.

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance’s massive launch draws cheers at his pro day workout.

“There have been rumours about the Detroit Lions [No 7], and the Denver Broncos [No 9] are a team that people think could be interested in a quarterback, but their coaches might be on the hot seat this season, so I can’t imagine they’d want to bring in a rookie quarterback only to then get fired while they try to develop him.

“That’s when we start to get into the New England Patriots at number 15, Washington [No 19] and the Chicago Bears [No 20]. If we don’t see Lance and Fields go in the top seven or eight, that would be my guess

“New England are interesting. We know they’re looking for the quarterback of the future for their football team – but, knowing them, I’ve worked there, they’re not just going to pick one for the sake of picking one.

“If they’re not in love with one of the quarterbacks that is left over, I don’t think they’ll care. They’ll look to another avenue later in the draft, perhaps like a Kellen Mond out of Texas A&M in the second round, who I really like.”

Watch all three days of the 2021 NFL Draft unfold on Sky Sports NFL, April 29-May 1, starting with live build-up to day one at 8pm on Thursday, April 29 with the first picks expected to be made just after 1am.





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