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The latest “buzz” surrounding
Stanford quarterback Davis Mills reportedly suggests he could be
selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.
Peter Schrager of the NFL Network
reported Thursday that Mills will “most likely” be the sixth
quarterback drafted after Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach
Wilson, Alabama’s Mac Jones, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North
Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
Mills arrived at Stanford with a lot of
hype as the top-rated pro-style quarterback in the 2017 college
football recruiting class.
A lot of question marks remain,
however, as he appeared in just 14 games across four years with the
Cardinal. After a redshirt year, he spent the next season-and-a-half as the backup to K.J. Costello before taking over the offense
midway through 2019.
The 6’4”, 225-pound Atlanta native was
the team’s starter for 2020, but the campaign was shortened to six
games because of the coronavirus pandemic, and he missed one contest
because of COVID-19 protocols.
In all, Mills completed 65.5 percent of
his throws for 3,468 yards, 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions
in 14 college games (11 starts).
His limited amount of playing time
combined with a star-studded quarterback class has led him to fly
under the radar leading up to the draft, which kicks off April 29,
but he’s confident his ability can stack up well against any of the
other signal-callers, per Jason Butt of the Atlanta
“I think I can compete with those top
guys,” Mills said. “I have full confidence in my ability to go
out there and win games and compete at the next level. Something I
bring to the table is really just the mental side of football.
Getting prepared each and every week and attacking the weaknesses in
the opponents and really having a high level of understanding of
defenses and even running my own offense.”
It’s not uncommon for a team to trade
into the latter part of the first round to grab a quarterback. The
Baltimore Ravens did it in 2018 to take Lamar Jackson, and that’s
worked out quite well.
A team could attempt something similar
with Mills after the initial flurry of quarterbacks coming off the
board during the first half of the opening round.
He probably won’t be a Week 1 starter
like Lawrence, Wilson and Co., but he could make an impact later in
his rookie year depending on which team grabs him in the draft.