The view of Clemson superstar Trevor Lawrence as the top quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft is almost universal. One of the primary dissenters is NBC Sports' Chris Simms, who has maintained for a few weeks now that he is a bigger fan of BYU's Zach Wilson, the potential No. 2 overall pick.
For NFL Draft purposes, any speculation is pretty academic. The Jacksonville Jaguars are taking Lawrence No. 1, as almost every single team would do in the same position. He may not be atop every single team's draft board, but most view him as a generational quarterback talent that we haven't seen since Andrew Luck.
It certainly doesn't hurt that Lawrence is already a legend in the Southeast. He's from Georgia and starred at Clemson. He'd be a draw anywhere, but he can probably lift the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars a lot.
Simms says that he thinks the Jaguars are taking this factor into account more than a direct comparison of his skills to Zach Wilson's. If Wilson was a Florida guy, or the team was truly concerned with football first, the BYU Cougar would be the pick, Simms says.
"(Lawrence) is from Georgia. That is right up the road from Jacksonville,” Simms said during a recent appearance on NFL Network's Good Morning Football, per the New York Post. “He of course went to South Carolina, Clemson there. He is a God-like figure, as far as football is concerned. He is going to sell tickets. He is going to be everything they want.
He believes that Wilson both made big throws more consistently, and has a higher ceiling than Lawrence as a pro.
“I like Trevor Lawrence,” Simms said. “But the thing that jumped out to me more, there was more missed throws and inaccurate throws on the film than I thought I was going to see. Not to say that there are still not a lot of damn good ones, but I think that to me was the difference.
“My big thing is, go with Zach Wilson. If you really want me to go make that sell or pitch, I would go, ‘Zach Wilson can run any offense. He is ready right now and I think he has less questions about his game than a Trevor Lawrence.’ That is where I would really sell you.
“I think his high-end talent is greater than Trevor Lawrence.”
Simms is not afraid to go out on a ledge like this, but in recent years it has worked out. He was much higher on guys like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson than many others in the pre-draft process. We'll see if he really nailed this one in due time, or if this was a big reach.