2021 NFL Draft: Pro Day questions for top five quarterbacks

2021 NFL Draft prospect Trevor Lawrence fires a pass in front of Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer (Photo by David Platt/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Trevor Lawrence fires a pass in front of Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer (Photo by David Platt/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports) /
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2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence
2021 NFL Draft prospect Trevor Lawrence from Clemson (Photo by David Platt/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports) /

This year’s NFL Combine was officially canceled this past January, due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of 2021 NFL Draft hopefuls descending on Indianapolis in a flurry of hastily timed drills and workouts this year, NFL scouts will have to attend individual college Pro Days if they want to thoroughly evaluate players. Losing the Combine is no small thing: after all, it allows NFL scouts to judge players out of their comfort zone, away from teammates and coaches they’ve known for years, in a controlled environment and with standardized testing.

Most years, NFL teams send a cabal of scouts, coaches and front-office assistants to evaluate athletes across several days at the Combine. They are allowed to schedule a total of 60  formal interviews across an entire week. Afterward, they get time to bring the players into team facilities for film reviews and private workouts. This year NFL scouts will have to make their physical evaluations during the college Pro Days.

For the players, a Pro Day has always served as a mulligan for poor performances at the Combine: a way to clean up anything that might have gone wrong during the Combine week.  These players might be some of the best athletes in the country, but even they can have a bad day here and there. With just one chance to really impress NFL scouts (outside of game footage), hundreds of NFL hopefuls will need to bring their A-game to their Pro Day this offseason.

Quarterbacks will face the most attention at their Pro Days in the upcoming month. This year the stakes will be raised even higher, both for players and NFL scouts. If a team plans on using a first-rounder on any of the top five quarterbacks available in the 2021 NFL Draft, they will need to be sure this is THE guy who can bring their team success in the near future. And quarterbacks will need to be prepared for and have answers to the questions these front-offices will have.

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While the 2021 NFL Draft will bring a plethora of solid quarterbacks into the NFL, there isn’t one that doesn’t have at least one question mark on their scouting report. Whether it’s a technical issue with their footwork, a question about their decision-making under pressure, or their competency at reading coverages, this year’s quarterback class will face an entire deconstruction of their college film by NFL scouts. These quarterbacks need to be prepared to address their biggest question marks before their Pro Days begins.

In this article, we’ll explore a major question still remaining about each of the top-five quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft. We’ll discuss each player’s background, why these questions will be relevant to their draft stock and what they showed on film in 2020 to deserve such scrutiny. Finally, we’ll attempt to explain what they can show at their individual Pro Days and in team interviews to assuage these concerns.