USN NFL Draft Weekly Mailbag 1/1/21: Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Devonta Smith and more!!!!

Would the Jaguars be better off trading the First Pick? Devonta Smith vs Ja’Marr Chase? We explore these questions and more this week, as I take this weeks NFL Draft questions.

Q: Do the Jaguars really need to take Lawrence? Wouldn’t a trading back for a package of picks do more for the team?

Normally, I’m 100% team trade back…for any team that has it’s QB and a top five pick. I love Minshew but I just don’t believe he is talented enough to win in Jacksonville. We know Glennon isn’t a capable franchise QB. This also isn’t a normal situation, and because of that we need to adjust the way we evaluate this.

Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, John Elway are the only QB Prospects in the super bowl era to receive the level of hype that Lawrence has gotten. While Lawrence isn’t perfect, and frankly takes a few too many hits for my taste, his game has earned every bit of that hype. A player like Lawrence will attract top Head Coach and GM candidates, fill the seats, and make teammates play better. No one is can’t miss, but if a prospect on the level of Manning, Elway and Luck falls in your lap, you take him. Simple as that.

Q: Should the Falcons take their Quarterback of the future in the first round?

This is a tough question. Matt Ryan is still an excellent quarterback and the team has a number of holes to fill around him, though that may be why the Falcons should consider it. One pick at another position wont do enough to suddenly make this team into a winner.

If they see any decline in Ryan’s game, there are a couple of QB prospects that could turn into fantastic players if given time to sit. Justin Fields and Trey Lance both make a lot  of sense, given that both have extraordinarily high ceilings, but could use some time  to develop behind a borderline HOF Quarterback in Ryan. Unless Ryan indicates he wants to play until he’s 40 then this is likely the direction I would go in.

If they decide not to draft a Quarterback of the future I 100% believe they should trade back.

Q: Who is the First Wide Receiver drafted? Chase? Smith? Waddle?

Notice the question was first drafted and not best. I firmly believed Jerry Juedy and Ceedee Lamb were the top prospects at the position last year and two of the best I’ve ever scouted, that didn’t stop Oakland from taking my WR3 Henry Ruggs first because his skill set fit what they wanted most.

While I personally believe that Chase and Smith are far and away the top prospects in this class, both are top 10 talents, it’s very possible that the tantalizing speed and playmaking ability of Waddle make him the top pick.

My personal feeling is that Pre Draft workouts will determine the outcome of this in way they never would have just last year. Specifically the workouts of Chase. If the former LSU Standout looks great after opting out of the season, he will likely be the first pick. If he’s anything less than his old self, Smith and Waddle will each have a shot at going first.

My Prediction: Smith goes first to either the Dolphins at 3, Bengals at 5, Eagles at 7, or Lions at 8

Q: Is Justin Fields the 2nd QB Taken?

After last season I felt there could be some debate for Fields to be the top Quarterback in this class or at least that the door wasn’t closed. While it is now closed, Fields is firmly the second best Quarterback in this class. This season has been extremely up and down for the OSU standout, but circumstances have helped Fields case.

His primary competition for the 2nd QB taken coming into the season, Trey Lance, only played in one game this season due to Covid-19 and was already viewed as extremely raw before missing a year. His Primary competition coming out of the Season, BYU’s Zach Wilson, seems to have had his draft stock damaged by rumored attitude concerns.

Those factors paired with Fields’ stellar game in the playoffs, against Lawrence, should have him firmly entrenched as the QB2 in this class.

Q: Which team(s) will make a move for Carson Wentz if they miss out on the top QB prospects?

I’ve heard of several teams as candidates for Wentz, but only two seem serious in terms of team fit. A lot of things would factor into any potential deal for the former MVP front runner.

  • He won’t be traded to an NFC team
  • Money will be a factor
  • It will likely have to be to a contending team
  • what compensation are the Eagles actually looking for?

The two teams that make the most sense are the Pittsburg Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts. Both are contenders with aging QBs that schematically seem to fit well with what Wentz seems to like to do.

Thanks for reading this week’s mailbag, if you want your questions answered on next week’s mailbag, please submit your questions to @ChrisSmithUSN on Twitter

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