Lawrence might already be getting fitted for his new uniform by the Jaguars. The Clemson star could be the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, with every physical quality scouts like and the track record to back up the pure talent. He finished 2020 completing more than 69% of his passes for 3,153 yards and 24 touchdowns in 10 games, and he also contributed eight rushing scores.
Fields helped himself vs. Clemson in the CFP Semifinal, rebounding from a mediocre game. He’s not quite the pure passer that Trevor Lawerence is, but Fields is a well-rounded, proven winner with huge upside. The Jets’ decision whether to move on from Sam Darnold could be determined by their head coaching hire.
Sewell is a generational tackle prospect who should be plug-and-play at left tackle. While the Dolphins revamped their offensive line in 2020 and spent a first-round pick on Austin Jackson, the opportunity to add Sewell could be too good to pass up.
Tight ends, quarterbacks and wide receivers took the field Thursday to get the NFL Scouting Combine kicked off in grand style.
This event isn’t to be looked into too deeply when it comes to overall talent evaluation. The bigger deal is how prospects handle their interviews and how medicals turn out. However, many players in the past have experienced big surges in draft stock due to electric performances during combine drills.
That’s what we’re diving into here as we look at prospects who impressed the most during Thursday’s action at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.
Justin Jefferson, wide receiver, LSU
Nobody saw this coming. Justin Jefferson wasn’t expected to be that fast. But once he hit the field for his 40-yard dash Thursday, it was all over. Jefferson ran an official 4.44-second 40-yard dash and immediately boosted his already hot draft stock.
In 2025, the NFL will look different than it does now. Some of the greatest quarterbacks in the game’s history will either be retired or on their last legs by the mid-2020s, opening the door for younger passers to slide into marquee roles. Patrick Mahomes is already there.
This exercise is designed to identify which franchises will be best positioned to compete for championships in five years; which teams have major questions to answer before determining if they can escape the middle class; and which teams’ long-range outlooks are bleak. The primary considerations behind these placements are ownership, front-office talent, coaching staffs, quarterbacks and recent history, but other factors went into the rankings as well.
“Educated guesswork” obviously is required in a league that sees contention opportunities change frequently. Here’s a projection of how the NFL hierarchy could look in five years:
While Matt Hasselbeck wasn’t expected to play such a potential pivotal role in the Colts’ season this year, he is part of a larger trend this season in which quarterbacks are on average significantly older than those in recent years.
On the one hand this makes sense – with league mainstays such as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and others still taking the field (most weeks) for their teams, it makes sense that the average age will shoot up a bit. On the other hand, with the top two picks in this year’s draft also taking the field each week, one might expect the average age to come down a bit.
However, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are proving to be more the exceptions than the rule. With five weeks to go in the regular season, quarterbacks are on average a year and a half older than they were just three years ago, and fewer younger quarterbacks than ever before are taking the field. Using data from the Pro Football Reference Play Index and looking at all quarterbacks who have made at least one pass attempt in a game, the jump in age the last few years becomes quite apparent:
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