Joe Theismann Thinks Zach Wilson Should Go Before Trevor Lawrence; Compares Lawrence to Mac Jones

It finally happened. Someone made pre-draft headlines by saying Trevor Lawrence should not go first overall. Super Bowl-winning QB Joe Theismann said if he were in charge of a team — luckily, he’s not — he’d draft Zach Wilson over Lawrence.

“I would take Wilson over Lawrence,” Theismann said on CBS Sports HQ.

“I think Zach, obviously, I just love the way he throws the football. It is hard to teach. We have seen people learn to perfect it a little bit. He has all the skills; he has a live arm, he has a strong arm, he can put touch on it, he can gun it. He is 6’3″, he is not a small guy. He moves around with great athleticism. I think, to me, watching him play quarterback, he looks really ready,” Theismann explained.”

Yep, absurd.

Oddly, Theismann doesn’t just really like Wilson. He just has some concerns with Lawrence because he played at Clemson.

“Trevor Lawrence is certainly a big kid who can run well, surrounded by terrific talent at Clemson. It is a little bit like Mac Jones at Alabama. They are surrounded by terrific talent and sometimes you look at that talent and say, ‘Did that help the position a lot.’ I think in the case of Trevor, being a young guy and as strong and physical as he is, he will have a great opportunity to learn, as will Mac and all the young guys, Justin Fields, as well, out of Ohio State. I just think coming into this particular draft, Zach checks all of the boxes for me.”

A bit like Mac Jones, huh?

It’s important to make fun of Theismann now because he’s playing with house money with his statement. In addition to the buzz, if the 3% chance that Lawrence becomes a bust and Wilson is better hits, Theismann will earn bragging rights until the end of the decade.

By the way, I’d like to know what boxes Wilson checks that Lawrence doesn’t. Perhaps, there’s a negative box that says “played with strong surrounding talent” that outweighs all the boxes above and below it?

To Jags’ fan: there have been a lot of bad days in Jacksonville, but when those memories resurface, just be thankful Joe Theismann isn’t running your team.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.


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  1. I forget who it was on the podcast the other day comparing Watson to Lawrence, but they were right… Watson was so much better at Clemson than Lawrence. Yeah, yeah, argue the record but that team was stacked when Trevor was there. Clemson wasn’t the beast it is now back when Watson was there.

  2. I wonder who was right about Patrick Mahomes. Not only did Chicago take Trubisky but the Browns, 49ers, Jags, Titans, Jets, Bengals all passed. If Theismann called that one then I would pay attention.

  3. I have watched several Zach Wilson games and have not been impressed. He’s got a pretty good arm, but he’s not a great decision maker or general awareness of the pocket around him. The Coastal Carolina game was more reality. Plus the level of competition he played against was bad, so it’s going to be quite a step up in game speed. He may very well be a superstar though, because when I watched Justin Herbert play at Oregon I thought the same things. He didn’t impress me either as a QB on the field, I didn’t see a great passer in college, but he sure turned it on in the NFL.

    I’ll say this. Whether you’re a scout or not, when you watch Trevor Lawrence play the position of QB compared to any of these other guys in the draft it’s like listening to Mozart after a pep band. You know there’s a clear difference.

  4. To me, Mac Jones is the best decision maker and sees the field better than the others. Not the most physically talented, but as far as knowing where all his receivers are and where to go with the ball quickly, I’ll take Jones.

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