The 2021 NFL draft class saw five quarterbacks selected in the first 15 picks: Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones. All of them had at least two starts as rookies, as did third-rounder Davis Mills. Overall, the results were as expected: first-year quarterback struggles.
Where do things stand for the six second-year quarterbacks entering the 2022 NFL season? Can Lawrence and Wilson (once he returns from surgery on his right knee injury) live up to their top-two-pick hype, and will Lance smoothly jump into a full-time starting role? Will Fields, Jones and Mills all get more acclimated to the pro game? I pulled out my 2021 draft book and looked up the scouting reports for all six QBs, then dug in on where each did and did not improve.
Were the same issues still there for each quarterback? What stood out on tape? And in what areas is each still improving? Let's look back on the 2021 pre-draft evaluations and identify how all six QBs have developed after one season in the NFL, starting with the No. 1 pick.
2021 draft pick: No. 1 overall
Rookie season stats: 3,641 passing yards, 12 TDs, 17 INTs, 33.5 QBR
The original pre-draft scouting report: "Lawrence is a tall, well-built quarterback who continues to develop into his frame. He has very good decision-making skills, especially in clutch situations. He is a long-levered QB with surprising twitchiness, and he has good release quickness and top-tier velocity as a passer, driving the ball vertically with ease. Although Lawrence is still working on the consistency of his footwork and ball placement -- which can be a bit streaky at times -- his overall touch, timing and anticipation are very good. He knows how to lead receivers open and spots the ball very well on back-shoulder throws, getting excellent velocity on deeper throws outside the numbers. And he has solid pocket mobility for such a tall quarterback, with quickness in the pocket and a feel for pressure. As a runner, Lawrence is a long strider with very good speed build-up when he takes off. In all, he is a once-in-a-decade type quarterback prospect."