2021 Rookie Quarterback Class: Week 16 NFL Mailbag

Last Updated: May 20, 2024

Welcome to the Week 16 NFL Mailbag! Here are your best questions from Twitter about the NFL, which included answers from me about the 2021 Rookie Quarterback Class, David Montgomery’s success, and more!

Week 16 NFL Mailbag

How do you like this year’s QB draft compared to the hyped 2018 class?

For starters, the 2021 class has a generational prospect (Trevor Lawrence), whereas the 2018 class did not. Remember, heading into the day of the 2018 NFL Draft, no one knew who the Browns would select at No. 1. Many people liked Baker Mayfield, but Sam Darnold got most of the pre-draft buzz. But even the biggest Mayfield and Darnold fans have to admit there was a significant gap between either one of those prospects compared to Lawrence.

But what is great about both of these classes is the depth from 1-5. Josh Allen (No. 7) and Lamar Jackson (No. 32) were selected outside of 2018’s top five picks, but both have become franchise quarterbacks in the NFL. Each player has improved dramatically as passers, and their teams are in a position to make the playoffs for the second straight season. Finding quarterbacks outside of the top five who can maintain that level of success is rare.

However, this year, we could see a similar situation as players like BYU’s Zach Wilson, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance or Alabama’s Mac Jones outperform the quarterbacks drafted ahead of them, which may include Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

The fit will be so crucial for the next group of quarterbacks after Lawrence, but there is a ton of potential. There could easily be five quarterbacks drafted in the first round and potentially six, depending on what happens with Kyle Trask at Florida. For that reason alone, this is a pretty stacked draft class.

All in all, these are similar classes, but I bet that the 2021 class will end up with more long-term answers at quarterback than the 2018 class. Needless to say, this upcoming draft is going to be a ton of fun to follow. (Question submitted by @dkrom59)

Should the Jets trade DT Quinnen Williams (in a weak defensive tackle draft) for another top-10 pick?

So this is a fascinating question for a few different reasons. Let’s start with Williams, the player. In the second year of his career, he’s already turning into one of the best 10 interior defensive linemen in the NFL.

At just 23 years old, he’s starting to become a game-wrecker, and there aren’t many players out there with his combination of size, quickness and power. He also has two years left on his rookie contract, along with the fifth-year option. So it’s not hard to see why a team in the top 10, like the Cowboys, would be interested in trading their pick for Williams.

But for a Jets team that currently owns the No. 2, No. 26 and No. 33 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, would this move make sense? Despite (likely) missing out on Trevor Lawrence at No. 1, Zach Wilson and Justin Fields are pretty good consolation prizes. But just adding them to the roster won’t fix the offense.

If the Jets could move Williams and instead draft a playmaker, such as Florida TE Kyle Pitts or LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase, that might be a logical long-term move; it would help develop a quarterback. Williams is a fantastic player and has elite upside, but his play ultimately won’t matter if the Jets can’t develop a quarterback. (Question submitted by @Est_19_82)

Is this the real David Montgomery? What is his dynasty football value going forward?

It’s been quite the four-game stretch for David Montgomery in Chicago. In that span, he’s totaled 571 yards and has scored six touchdowns. He’s averaging a whopping 6.11 yards per carry and 10.5 yards per receptionduring that stretch.

Of course, the numbers will regress to the mean at some point, but how to value Montgomery going forward is a tough question.

First and foremost, it’s important to look at who he has played during that stretch. In the four games he’s dominated, the Bears have played Green Bay, Detroit, Houston and Minnesota. All four of those teams are among the worst run defenses in the NFL. So that is a concern. Montgomery’s workload has been fine, but there are also two games in there where he’s seen just 11 carries.

As for his dynasty value, he is still a middling RB2, at best. Because he doesn’t have home-run speed and isn’t attached to a great offense, the upside isn’t there on a week-to-week basis. Sure, he can have games where he produces and whenever he gets into the end zone, he’s a worthwhile play. But as of right now, he’s still outside of the top 15 running backs in dynasty football and could move down even further this offseason after a new rookie class is introduced to the league.

If you are currently a Montgomery fantasy football manager, considering trading him after the season. The final two games of the year set up nice for him to have big performances, so his trade value could be at an all-time high once we get into the New Year. (Question submitted by @TeamHeaney)

Where do you see Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons winding up in the 2021 NFL Draft?

In case you aren’t familiar with Micah Parsons, he is a former Penn State linebacker who was a finalist for the Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker) in 2019.

During his final year at the collegiate level, Parsons totaled 109 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss and five sacks. At 6’3, 245 pounds, Parsons is expected to run in the mid 4.4s in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. By all accounts, he is the consensus top linebacker in the 2021 NFL Draft and some people believe he is the best defender in the entire class.

Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Micah Parsons (11) celebrates after sacking the Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (not pictured) in the second half at TCF Bank Stadium during the 2019 season. (USA TODAY Sports)

However, linebackers typically fall on draft day as the positional value isn’t as important as, say, quarterback, cornerback, offensive line, or pass rusher. For that reason, a player like Parsons could easily fall outside of the top-10 and into the teens.

The best fit for a player of his skill set would be in New England with Bill Belichick. Parsons’ ability to run, cover and rush the passer would make him the ultimate chess piece on that defense and he could become one of the most valuable defenders in the league. Putting him with a defensive genius like that would allow him to reach his fullest potential as he is so much more than your typical off-the-ball linebacker. (Question submitted by @Arguing_Cowboys)

Thanks for reading the Week 16 NFL Mailbag! Please make sure to follow me and The Game Day on Twitter.

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