The best traits for the top eight quarterbacks in the 2021 draft — and the throws that show it

    Former NFL safety Matt Bowen is a veteran of four teams over seven seasons, and now provides analysis for ESPN Insider.

The 2021 NFL draft is less than a month away, and pro day workouts are winding down. With Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Alabama’s Mac Jones and Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond all working out for scouts on Tuesday, the top quarterbacks in the class have all shown what they can do in front of teams.

Let’s focus on the best throwing traits for each of the top eight quarterbacks in this class. From the arm talent that pops on the tape, to the decision-making and high-level second-reaction ability, this group of quarterbacks can check the critical factors needed to produce at the next level. We’ll also include eight video clips that show off these top traits and explain how each signal-caller can reach his ceiling. Some of the traits might surprise you.

We’ll go in order of how ESPN NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay rank the eight quarterbacks, highlighting what each player does best. And where else can we start but with their consensus top overall prospect:


Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

Height: 6-foot-6 | Weight: 213 pounds
Ranking: No. 1 (Kiper, McShay)

Lawrence’s best trait: Arm talent

The tape tells us that Lawrence is a high-floor prospect because of his elite traits, toughness and football awareness. The processing speed jumps when I watch him, and so does the movement ability both inside and outside of the pocket. Plus, there is a physical element to his game — along with ball-carrier vision — on designed runs. But if we have to focus on one high-level trait, I’m looking at Lawrence’s arm talent.

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