Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask put up impressive numbers, but can he crack the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft?
While the Florida football team may have its first star quarterback since Tim Tebow in Kyle Trask, there are no guarantees the 2020 Heisman Trophy finalist will be a first-round pick like the former Heisman winner was back in 2010.
Trask has been sensational in Dan Mullen’s Florida Gators offense. Though Florida has three losses on the season entering the Cotton Bowl Classic, there are plenty of reasons why Trask is one of four finalists for this year’s Heisman. However, he is projected to be the fourth of those four players taken off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. What can he do to improve his draft stock?
What is Kyle Trask’s 2021 NFL Draft ceiling?
The consensus has Trask as the sixth quarterback to be taken in the 2021 draft. While guys like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and BYU’s Zach Wilson are all locks to go in the top eight, Trask could end up being the fourth quarterback taken, depending on how talent evaluators look at him compared to North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Alabama’s Mac Jones.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Trask as his sixth-best quarterback. Kiper’s colleague Todd McShay believes Jones is the better prospect over Trask. CBS has Trask as the No. 6 quarterback and the No. 40 overall prospect for 2021. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has Lawrence, Fields, Wilson, Lance and Jones all ahead of Trask as his top five quarterbacks. So what does this all mean for Trask?
Ultimately, Trask projects at a very low, first-round pick to an upper-middle, second-round pick. If he is the sixth first-round quarterback taken this spring, that would tie the famous 1983 NFL Draft for the most signal-callers taken in the first round of any draft to date. The over/under for guys taken in the top 32 this spring is clearly 5.5. It all comes down to Trask and potential team fit.
Trask is worth a top-32 pick simply for the fact an NFL team would be able to extend him the fifth-option potentially if it needs more time to properly evaluate him as a pro. While he did not start in high school, Trask had no issues carving up the SEC the last year and change. But who is his NFL prototype exactly, what is his NFL ceiling and who could end up taking a late-round flier on him?
Trask’s NFL comps are not obvious, which hurts the upside of his draft stock. Then again, teams that are considering taking him in the top 40 are doing so with the intention of him being a multi-year starting quarterback. As for who could select him, look for a playoff team with an aging quarterback or one where the position is in a bit of flux with no long-term established starter.
If Trask balls out in the Cotton Bowl over Oklahoma, it might be enough to ensure he will be taken in the first round. He could overtake Jones to be taken by some team like the Pittsburgh Steelers in the mid-to-late 20s, but it is going to be extremely difficult for him to usurp Lance as the No. 4 quarterback prospect in this draft. It is all about him showing that he is a top-32 overall prospect.
While his draft stock is largely established, there is a pathway where he can be a day-one pick.