Mel Kiper picks a side in the Lawrence vs. Burrow debate

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Tyler Nettuno
·2 min read
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Former Clemson quarterback and likely first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft Trevor Lawrence enters the league with no shortage of expectations. Touted as one of the best passing prospects of all time, on par with Peyton Manning, John Elway and Andrew Luck, Lawrence is expected to become one of the league’s elite quarterbacks once he develops.

But draft analysts aren’t immune to offseason hysteria, and it doesn’t take an excellent memory to remember similar comparisons being drawn during the pre-draft cycle last year about a different player: Joe Burrow.

Burrow exploded onto the scene during his final year at LSU, turning in arguably the most prolific season of any quarterback in college football history. He was taken with the first overall pick by Cincinnati, and though his rookie year was cut short with an ACL tear, he played well prior to the injury.

With us just one year removed from Burrow and his offseason hype, it raises a question: Is Lawrence really so special?

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has his answer. In a recent mailbag, he ranked the top 10 quarterbacks if you combined the previous two draft classes, giving Lawrence the edge.

Trevor Lawrence is going to have one of the highest grades I’ve ever given (more on that Wednesday); he’s the clear No. 1. And Joe Burrow was head-and-shoulders above the rest of last year’s class.

Kiper seems pretty confident that Lawrence is the better prospect, but it makes sense why. Both he and Burrow were very similar prospects, but Lawrence has the superior size, arm strength and athletic ability. And it should be reassuring to Jags fans that the experts feel so sure about his ability to translate to the next level.