Bonus: How has the 2021 Draft Class fared, and their outlook
Trevor Lawrence showed promise in his first year but essentially has to hit the restart button since the Urban Meyer experiment did not quite work out. Combine that with the fact that the Jaguars are thin on talent at several different positions, and it may be a couple of years before the Jaguars become contenders.
Zach Wilson had a pretty rough first season as the New York Jet’s starter, which comes as little surprise considering what he had to work with on offense. The Jets’ already weak offense was riddled with injuries making Wilson’s season much more frustrating than you would want for a rookie quarterback.
Combine that with the fact that he dealt with a rookie head coach and offensive coordinator Wilson did not have much help in year one. However, as many would expect from a second overall pick, there were indeed bright spots to focus on. Luckily for Wilson, the Jets can only help him improve by surrounding him with talent.
However, the Jets are still likely over two years from contending if they get it right.
Trey Lance could have a Patrick Mahomes type of breakout next season. Likely not to the level of Mahomes but taking the NFL by storm. That is the comparison because he rode the bench for most of his rookie season, just like Mahomes.
However, if you combine his skillset with an elite offensive coach, elite offensive weapons, and an above-average offensive line, Lance should not have to be that good for the 49ers to succeed.
Justin Fields is nearly the same situation as Trevor Lawrence with a slightly better team. However, Fields was not around for the entire season as he started only ten games for the Bears this season. New coaches and coordinators should put Fields in a better position to be more successful, but the offensive line needs to protect the quarterback.
Mac Jones was successful in his first year but primarily due to his team and how Bill Belichick put him in positions to succeed. Belichick never asked Jones to do too much, allowing the New England Patriots to win games and Jones to progress as a quarterback at the same time.
Davis Mills is probably not a massive part of the Houston Texans ‘ term plans, but he may have played himself into a long career as a high-end backup/low-end starter in the NFL. The Texans were ranked poorly on offense but did have the weapons to put Mills in a successful position, and it led to a pretty successful offense in the latter third of the season.
Overall, it looks like none of these guys are sure things to become franchise quarterbacks in the NFL. Trey Lance has the best situation and may become the best just because he was drafted into. If you look at the success of Mac Jones early on, it makes you think that the Patriots and the 49ers both drafted their quarterbacks correctly by building teams to compete around them first.
Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Justin Fields still have a lot to prove, and if they cannot figure it out soon, all three franchises may abandon ship sooner rather than later.