Rookie Quarterbacks: Ideal Landing Spots
by Alan Seslowsky – Twitter: @Alanseslowsky
The 2021 NFL draft is going to be unique from a quarterback perspective. The consensus is that the first three picks are going to be QBs. There is a plausible path to the fourth overall pick being a QB too. The top five rated prospects may all be drafted within the top 15 picks. For fantasy football, this means that five QBs will have first-round rookie dynasty ADPs. Below are the optimal landing spots (that are realistic) for a few of the top prospects.
QB Justin Fields, Falcons (Pick 4)
For over two years Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields were the consensus QB1 and QB2 in this class. Lawrence remains a virtual lock to be the QB1. Somewhere along the way, the narrative on Fields turned negative. Nothing from a football skills perspective or off the field situation has changed. Justin Fields has all of the skills we love our QBs to have in fantasy football. Fields has a solid build at 6’3″ and 212 lbs, a rocket arm, and most importantly he is a dynamic runner. It is possible he has a higher fantasy football ceiling than Lawrence. The sports betting odds still show Mac Jones as the favorite to land in San Francisco with the third pick. That means it is realistic that Fields is sitting there for the Falcons at pick four. New Head Coach, Author Smith, unlocked mobile QB Ryan Tannehill into a fantasy league winner at times during his stint in Tennessee. Imagine what he could do with an elite prospect like Justin Fields, who will have some of the best weapons in the NFL at his disposal. Fields would likely not start week one, as Matt Ryan is the presumed starter; but if things go poorly for the Falcons early, it could be an ideal landing spot for fantasy.
QB Trey Lance, Broncos (Pick 9)
The Broncos are a team that is ready to compete now…kind of. They have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, a Head Coach in Vic Fangio who has been an elite defensive play caller in recent times, and an experienced running back in Melvin Gordon. What’s missing? A baseline level competent QB. We have seen teams compete with average QBs when they are fortified at other key positions. Drew Lock received his chance last year and proved to be a one-read QB. Then rookie WR Jerry Jeudy‘s elite route running went to waste as Lock was not able to “throw him open.” The Broncos clearly need an upgrade.
Trey Lance is an exciting prospect. In many draft classes, he would be the consensus QB1, due to his dual-threat profile. His lack of game experience and high-level competition is likely going to make him the QB3 or lower in 2021. Lance is likely to get drafted before the Broncos pick at nine, so securing Lance would take a trade up. The Broncos are in a position to make it happen. The appeal of a dual-threat runner with a plus arm would be an ideal landing spot for fantasy football.
QB Mac Jones, 49ers (Pick 3)
Mac Jones is the sports betting favorite to get drafted third overall to the 49ers. Mainstream sports media has touted Jones to San Fran for weeks. It’s hard for many to believe that 49er’s Head Coach, Kyle Shanahan, would trade three first-round picks to get a player like Mac Jones. RosterWatch co-founder Byron Lambert was early to the Mac Jones hype train when he was singing Mac Jones’ praises after scouting him at the 2021 senior bowl. Lambert is convinced he has as high a fantasy football ceiling as any of the prospects in this class if he lands in the right situation. San Francisco would represent that “right situation.” Jones is a cerebral player who can make all of the throws, adjust at the line of scrimmage, and take calculated risks without careless turnovers. If the Jones to San Fran hype comes to fruition, RosterWatch is going to be aggressive with one of our 2021 “Golden Sons.”