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Former NFL MVP QB explains why he’d take Zach Wilson over Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft

When discussing the 2021 NFL Draft, the conversation generally begins at No. 2 overall because Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence had been considered the unanimous top quarterback option. Unanimous no longer. Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann joined CBS Sports HQ during Super Bowl week coverage to discuss a wide array of subjects, including his belief that BYU’s Zach Wilson is a better quarterback prospect.

“Honestly, yes. [It’s] really close. We are sort of splitting hairs here a little bit but I would [take Wilson over Lawrence] as a matter of fact,” Theismann said on CBS Sports HQ, with host Amanda Guerra. 

The Super Bowl champion is drawn to Wilson’s natural talent. 

“I think Zach, obviously, I just love the way he throws the football. It is hard to teach. We have seen people learn to perfect it a little bit. He has all the skills; he has a live arm, he has a strong arm, he can put touch on it, he can gun it. He is 6’3″, he is not a small guy. He moves around with great athleticism. I think, to me, watching him play quarterback, he looks really ready,” Theismann explained.

“Trevor Lawrence is certainly a big kid who can run well, surrounded by terrific talent at Clemson. It is a little bit like Mac Jones at Alabama. They are surrounded by terrific talent and sometimes you look at that talent and say ‘did that help the position a lot.’ I think in the case of Trevor, being a young guy and as strong and physical as he is, he will have a great opportunity to learn, as will Mac and all the young guys, Justin Fields, as well, out of Ohio State. I just think coming into this particular draft, Zach checks all of the boxes for me. Personally, my choice. My guy. It looks like the Jets may be the ones taking him at 2, which potentially puts Sam Darnold on the market or somewhere else.”

Lawrence and Wilson went No. 1 and No. 2 overall in each of CBS Sports’ mock drafts last week. 

After moving on from former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, the franchise that employed Theismann for 12 seasons now finds itself in the market for another long-term fit at the quarterback position. 

“Drafting at 19, I’m not sure you’re going to get what you’re looking for in the draft. Joe Montana was a third round pick. I was a fourth round pick. Tom Brady was a sixth round pick. They are probably going to take a quarterback. The question is, who do they like enough to commit a third or fourth or even a second round pick to? I don’t believe you want to trade away that No. 1 pick. I do think they are going to add a quarterback to the position for competitive purposes,” he said not ruling out pursuit of a veteran through a trade or free agency. 

North Dakota’s Trey Lance is also regarded as one of the top quarterback prospects available in the 2021 NFL Draft. Cleveland is scheduled to host the event from April 29-May 1. 




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