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2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence one of six former Georgia high school players in first round - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence one of six former Georgia high school players in first round
For more than a decade, Georgia's reputation as a high school football hot bed has been gaining on the big three of Florida, Texas and California. On Thursday night, the Peach State surpassed all three during the first night of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Six former Georgia prep standouts, including No. 1 overall selection, Trevor Lawrence, of Cartersville, were picked in the first round to lead all states.

Florida, which didn't have a selection until ninth pick in Patrick Surtain II, of American Heritage (Plantation), had the second most represented with five selections, followed by California, Texas and Louisiana, which each had three.

Utah had two of the first seven picks, headlined by No. 2 overall selection Zach Wilson, of Corner Canyon (Draper). Pennsylvania was the only other state with multiple picks.

Since the turn of the century, Georgia boasts 48 first-round picks and is right on the heels of California (49) for third place behind only Florida (81) and Texas (61).

Rhode Island, thanks to the Colts' No. 21 selection of defensive end Kwity Paye, of Bishop Hendricken (Warwick), was represented in the first round for the first time since at least 2000.

2021 NFL Draft First Round 

No. Player, Position, High School, Picked By

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Cartersville (Ga.), Jaguars
2. Zach Wilson, QB, Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), Jets
3. Trey Lance, QB, Marshall (Minn.), 49ers
4. Kyle Pitts, TE, Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), Falcons
5. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.), Bengals
6. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas), Dolphins
7. Penei Sewell, OT, Desert Hills (St. George, Utah), Lions
8. Jaycee Horn, CB, Alpharetta (Ga.), Panthers
9. Patrick Surtain II, CB, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), Broncos
10. Devonta Smith, WR, Amite (La.), Eagles
11. Justin Fields, QB, Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.), Bears
12. Micah Parsons, LB, Harrisburg (Pa.), Cowboys
13. Rashawn Slater, OT, Fort Bend Clements (Sugar Land, Texas), Chargers
14. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.), Jets
15. Mac Jones, QB, Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.), Patriots
16. Zaven Collins, LB, Hominy (Okla.), Cardinals
17. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Booker T. Washington (Pensacola, Fla.), Raiders
18. Jaelan Phillips, DE, Redlands East Valley (Redlands, Calif.), Dolphins
19. Jamin Davis, LB, Long County (Ludowici, Ga.), Washington Football Team
20. Kadarius Toney, WR, Blount (Eight Mile, Ala.), Giants
21. Kwity Paye, DE, Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.), Colts
22. Caleb Farley, CB, Maiden (N.C.), Titans
23. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), Vikings
24. Najee Harris, RB, Antioch (Calif.), Steelers
25. Travis Etienne, RB, Jennings (La.), Jaguars
26. Greg Newsome II, CB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), Browns
27. Rashod Bateman, WR, Tift County (Tifton, Ga.), Ravens
28. Payton Turner, DE, Westside (Houston, Texas), Saints
29. Eric Stokes, CB, Eastside (Covington, Ga.), Packers
30. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah, Fla.), Bills
31. Jayson Oweh, DE, Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.), Ravens
32. Joe Tryon, DE, Hazen (Renton, Wash.), Buccaneers
2021 NFL Draft: Mapping out high school home of Trevor Lawrence and every No. 1 pick since 1990 - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: Mapping out high school home of Trevor Lawrence and every No. 1 pick since 1990
Since 1990, there had been 19 quarterbacks selected as the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. On Thursday, Trevor Lawrence made 20. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound signal caller from Cartersville (Ga.) was just announced by commissioner Roger Goodell as the top pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Lawrence was the fourth straight quarterback selected No. 1 overall. He is the second Georgia signal caller since 2011 to come off the board first, joining Cam Newton of Westlake (Atlanta).

The Clemson star was a slam dunk pick at No. 1 and has been viewed in that light since his high school days. He threw for 13,902 yards and 121 touchdowns in 56 career games (53 wins) at Cartersville and was the unanimous No. 1 recruit in the country. He hit the ground running at Clemson, leading the Tigers to a national championship as a freshman and going 39-3 during his career.

While Georgia's reputation as a high school football hotbed and pipeline to the pros continues to grow, California and Texas have produced a third of the top picks over the last three decades with five each. Of those 10 picks, eight were quarterbacks. Interestingly, though Florida leads all states in draft picks since 1990, none have gone No. 1.

Read on for a complete breakdown of top picks since 1990.
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
Alabama
JaMarcus Russell, QB, 2007, Williamson (Mobile)
Jameis Winston, QB, 2015, Hueytown

California
Keyshawn Johnson, WR, 1996, Dorsey (Los Angeles)
David Carr, QB, 2002, Stockdale (Bakersfield)
Carson Palmer, QB, 2003, Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita)
Alex Smith, QB, 2005, Helix (La Mesa)
Jared Goff, QB, 2016, Marin Catholic (Kentfield)

Georgia
Cam Newton, QB, 2011, Westlake (Atlanta)
Trevor Lawrence, QB, 2021, Cartersville

Illinois
Russell Maryland, DL, 1991, Whitney Young (Chicago)

Indiana
Jeff George, QB, 1990, Warren Central (Indianapolis)

Kentucky
Tim Couch, QB, 1999, Leslie County (Hyden)

Louisiana
Peyton Manning, QB, 1998, Newman (New Orleans)
Eli Manning, QB, 2004, Newman (New Orleans)

Michigan
Jake Long, OL, 2008, Lapeer East (Lapeer)
Eric Fisher, OL, 2013, Stoney Creek (Rochester Hills)

North Carolina
Mario Williams, DL, 2006, Richlands

Ohio
Dan Wilkinson, DL, 1994, Dunbar (Dayton)
Ki-Jana Carter, RB, 1995, Westerville South (Westerville)
Orlando Pace, OL, 1997, Sandusky
Joe Burrow, QB, 2000, Athens (The Plains)

Oklahoma
Sam Bradford, QB, 2010, Putnam City North (Oklahoma City)

South Carolina
Courtney Brown, DL, 2000, Macedonia (Closed)
Jadeveon Clowney, DL, 2014, South Pointe (Rock Hill)

Texas
Matthew Stafford, QB, 2009, Highland Park (Dallas)
Andrew Luck, QB, 2012, Stratford (Houston)
Myles Garrett, DE, 2017, Martin (Arlington)
Baker Mayfield, QB, 2018, Lake Travis (Austin)
Kyler Murray, QB, 2019, Allen (Texas)

Virginia
Michael Vick, QB, 2001, Warwick (Newport News)

Washington
Steve Emtman, DL, 1992, Cheney
Drew Bledsoe, QB, 1993, Walla Walla
NFL Draft: 10 players who could've been first-round picks out of high school - HIGHSCORE
NFL Draft: 10 players who could've been first-round picks out of high school
The NFL Draft is set for tonight in Cleveland, Ohio, with 32 NFL teams prepared to choose from among the nation's best college players. But what if they were able to choose high school players?

Baseball, hockey and basketball professional leagues have all drafted players right out of high school while the NFL requires a player to be three years removed from his graduating class. Opponents of drafting players out of high school into the NFL site maturity level, physical strength and quickness and knowledge of the game as reasons why prep players just aren't ready.

However, there are always those precocious players mature beyond their years who possess the size, strength and speed to compete at the professional level. The emergence of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence as a "once-in-a-generation talent" leads those to wonder if Lawrence might have been a first-round pick right out of high school.

MaxPreps takes a look at 10 players, including Lawrence, who were "once-in-a-generation talents" in their own day. Not all of them succeeded in the NFL while others have gone on to be Hall of Famers. The argument here is that all 10 were phenoms coming out of high school and highly likely that some NFL general manager would have been willing to take a first-round gamble on their potential.
Jadeveon Clowney, South Pointe
File photo by Ron McCann
Jadeveon Clowney, South Pointe
10 NFL-ready players out of high school

Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville (Ga.), 2017
Resume:
The presumptive first pick in this year's draft has been the nation's most coveted quarterback since his freshman year at Cartersville. The No. 1 ranked quarterback in his class throughout his high school career, he's been labeled by some scouts as the greatest quarterback prospect of all-time, along with Hall of Famer John Elway. He became a starter early in his freshman season at Clemson and led the Tigers to a national championship.
Why he would be drafted: At 6-foot-6 and and 208 pounds, Lawrence definitely had the size that NFL scouts like to see in a quarterback. However, he also has arm strength, quickness, maneuverability in the pocket, and passing instincts that make him a once in a generation playcaller.

Herschel Walker, Johnson County (Wrightsville, Ga.), 1979
Resume:
He was the biggest thing to ever happen in Wrightsville (Ga.) in 1979. Colleges from all over the country came to the small town of 2,000 people to watch Walker practice. He rushed for 3,167 yards and 45 touchdowns as a senior, a rushing record that lasted for 21 years. He was a Heisman Trophy candidate as a true freshman after rushing for 1,616 yards. He left Georgia after his junior year to play football in the USFL and eventually played 12 seasons in the NFL.
Why would he be drafted: Very few running backs coming out of high school have ever had the total package that Walker presented. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he was big for a halfback. However, he was also the fastest player on the field — he won the 100 and 200-yard dashes at the state meet — and one of the strongest, he was a state shot put champion as well.

Jadeveon Clowney, South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.), 2011
Resume:
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, Clowney had strong credentials as a edge rusher coming out of high school. He had 69.5 sacks in his three years on the varsity, including 29.5 as a senior when he was regarded as the nation's No. 1 overall recruit regardless of position. He was a two-time All-American in college at South Carolina, starting as a freshman and essentially recognized as college football's best defensive player by his sophomore season. He's a three-time Pro Bowler in the NFL.
Why would he be drafted: Clowney was not only viewed as the top player in the class of 2014, but that he would have been the top player in many other classes as well. At 6-5, 250 pounds, he'd already developed into a player capable of playing at a much higher level.

Adrian Peterson, Palestine (Texas), 2003
Resume:
One of the more recent players who could have made the jump, Peterson was the national player of the year while running for 2,950 yards as a senior in 2003. The following year as a true freshman, Peterson finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting after rushing for 1,925 yards. He has since gone on to become the fifth all-time leading rusher in NFL history.
Why would he be drafted: Peterson has given several interviews to ESPN, noting that he felt he was capable of making the jump from high school to the pros. According to an article by Len Pasquarelli in 2007, Peterson is often named by talent evaluators as the player who most capable of making the jump.

Marcus Dupree, Philadelphia (Miss.), 1981
Resume:
The most prized high school prospect in the nation in 1981, Dupree scored on his very first possession as a freshman and finished his career with 87 touchdowns. When he arrived on campus at Oklahoma, head coach Barry Switzer reportedly said, "He was the best player on the field ... physically ready, as a true freshman, to be the best player on a great college team. Maybe even ready for the NFL at that age." Dupree came through as a freshman, rushing for 1,144 yards and earning second team All-America honors. However, he left Oklahoma after his freshman year and ended up playing the USFL at the age of 19. After a brief stint with the Los Angeles Rams, Dupree was out of the NFL due to injuries.
Why would he be drafted: Dupree was 210 pounds as a freshman in high school, eventually growing to 235 pounds. He also had sprinter speed, reportedly posting a 4.29 40-yard dash.

Andy Katzenmoyer, Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio), 1995
Resume:
A 6-foot-5, 240-pound linebacker in high school, Katzenmoyer devastated opponents with his speed and instincts. He was named the best player, not just linebacker, in the Detroit Free Press's Best in the Midwest rankings. USA Today named him National Defensive Player of the Year. He was Mr. Football in Ohio. He was also the top linebacker on the Parade Magazine All-America team. As a true freshman at Ohio State, he beat out a Butkus Award finalist from the year before, Greg Bellisari, at middle linebacker and set school records for sacks and tackles for loss while earning All-Big Ten honors. Ohio State had the nation's top passing defense with Katzenmoyer leading the way.
Why would he be drafted: Speed, instinct and tackling ability were Katzenmoyer's trademarks (his coach at Westerville South held him out of tackling drills to prevent other players from getting hurt, according to the Detroit Free Press). A neck injury as a rookie brought a premature end to his career.

Cookie Gilchrist, Har-Brack (Natrona Heights, Pa.), 1953
Resume:
Gilchrist was the top player in Pennsylvania in 1953. Just a junior, Gilchrist was one of the leading scorers in the state with 184 points on 24 touchdowns and 42 extra points. He earned all-state honors, receiving the most votes on the team. The problem for Gilchrist, however, is that he was ineligible to play as a senior. WPIAL rules prevented any senior who turned 19 prior to Sept. 1 from playing. Gilchrist turned 19 in May of his junior year. Fortune found Gilchrist in the form of Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown, who signed Gilchrist to a contract. However a disagreement led to Gilchrist leaving the Browns. He did play in the Ontario Rugby Union (a precursor to the Canadian Football League) as a 19-year-old. He later played in the AFL and was the AFL MVP in 1962.
Why would he be drafted: Obviously talented enough to gain the attention of Paul Brown, who had coached the Browns to an 11-1 record and a runner-up finish to Detroit in the NFL championship game.

Orlando Pace, Sandusky (Ohio), 1993
Resume:
Pace was bigger than most professional offensive linemen when he was still in high school. At 6-foot-8, 320 pounds, Pace was the state lineman of the year as a senior while also earning All-America honors. He became one of just two Buckeyes to ever start as a true freshmen. He is the only two-time winner of the Lombardi Award, winning it as a 20-year old sophomore. He's in the NFL and College Halls of Fame.
Why would he be drafted: Size alone would have made Pace a tempting pick. He's one of the largest players ever selected to the Hall of Fame. However, he was also characterized as being very athletic for a player his size. It was those attributes that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft.

Bill Fralic, Penn Hills (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 1980
Resume:
A four-year starter at Penn Hills, Fralic helped his team win three WPIAL championships. As a senior, he earned the Dial National Athlete of the Year Award, which had been given the previous year to Herschel Walker. A two-way lineman, Fralic had 15 sacks as a senior, but he found his way into the starting lineup at Pittsburgh as a college freshman. He eventually earned consensus All-America honors twice and was twice a top 10 finisher in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was a four-time Pro Bowl player in the NFL with the Falcons.
Why would he be drafted: Fralic's versatility would have been a huge bonus as he was able to play on both the offensive and defensive lines as well as tight end. He dominated high school opponents with his quickness and strength.

Bronko Nagurski, Bemidji (Minn.), 1926
Resume:
More legendary stories have been told about Nagurski than probably any NFL player in history. Noted for his incredible strength, speed and agility, Nagurski was a powerful runner on offense, but also strong enough to play offensive tackle. He ran the 100-yard dash in 10.2 seconds and reportedly had a 19.5 inch ring size — the largest of any NFL Hall of Fame member. He reportedly could have played any position on the field during the 1930s, including quarterback. He threw several touchdown passes in leading the Bears to two world championships.
Why would he be drafted: At 6-2, 220 pounds, Nagurski was bigger than over half of the linemen on the Chicago Bears when he joined them. His natural strength made him such a valuable player at the University of Minnesota and later with the Bears.
2021 NFL Draft: Ranking the high school careers of top quarterback prospects - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: Ranking the high school careers of top quarterback prospects
Draft experts expect five quarterbacks to be taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. And to no one's surprise, Trevor Lawrence is expected to go No. 1 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

After all, from high high school football days at Cartersville (Ga.) to leading the Clemson Tigers to a 39-3 mark with a National Championship, Lawrence has stood above most other quarterbacks, including the other four QBs expected to go in the first round.

Lawrence was 53-3 as a four-year varsity starter at Cartersville, winning two state titles while posting nearly a 6-to-1 career touchdown-to-interception ratio.

His senior year, the projected top pick put an exclamation point on an impressive Hurricane career by passing for 3,290 yards and 41 touchdowns against one interception. He had a 69 percent completion rate as Cartersville went 11-1.

While Justin Fields missed the back half of his senior season due to injury, the elite dual-threat option rushed for over 2,000 yards and accounted for 69 total touchdowns in 19 career games.

BYU product Zach Wilson also showed off elite versatility during his senior year, passing for 298.6 yards per game adding 752 yards rushing and eight touchdowns on 119 carries.

Mac Jones and Trey Lance each won over 84 percent of their games over the course of their high school career, however, neither quarterback put up gaudy numbers throughout their prep careers.
Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville
File photo by Will Fagan
Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville
Ranking the high school careers of top quarterback prospects

Record: 53-3 (2 state championships)
Career stats: 13,902 yards, 121 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Lawrence completed 63.4 percent of passes over 56 career games.

Record: 15-4
Career stats: 4,187 yards, 41 touchdowns and eight touchdowns. Field completed 65.8 percent of passes and rushed for 2,096 yards and 28 touchdowns on 300 carries.

Record: 16-7
Career stats: 5,842 yards, 45 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, Wilson's completion percentage was  61.9 percent and he added 1,310 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on 211 carries.

Record: 22-4
Career stats: 3,911 yards, 55 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Jones completed 64.5 percent of his passes as a senior.

Record: 27-4
Career stats: 3,045 yards, 33 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Lance's completion percentage was 51 percent. He rushed for 1,212 yards and 20 touchdowns on 218 carries.
2021 NFL Draft: High school football powerhouse IMG Academy projected to have seven players selected - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: High school football powerhouse IMG Academy projected to have seven players selected
During the 2020 NFL Draft, national high school football power IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) became the first prep program since 2014 to have four players selected. The Ascenders could potentially double that in 2021, according to Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports.


All but Newsome played together during the 2016 season when the Ascenders went 11-0 and had notable wins over Centennial (Corona, Calif.), Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.), St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) and St. John's (Washington, D.C.). They finished the year ranked No. 3 in the MaxPreps Top 25.

Cisco and Newsome were part of IMG's 2017 team that went 9-0 and finished ranked No. 2 in the MaxPreps Top 25.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is one of seven former IMG Academy players who could hear their name called this weekend as part of the NFL Draft.
Photo by Mike Janes
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is one of seven former IMG Academy players who could hear their name called this weekend as part of the NFL Draft.
No less impressive is American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), which has five players going in Wilson's mock draft. The Patriots' potential draft haul is led by Patrick Surtain II, who Wilson predicts will go No. 9 to the Denver Broncos. Joining Surtain are Tyson Campbell, Khalil Herbert, Anthony Schwartz and Marco Wilson.

Campbell, Surtain and Wilson gave the Patriots the best secondary in the country during the 2016 season and led Heritage to a 14-0 record, Class 5A state title and a spot at No. 10 in the final MaxPreps Top 25.

The following season, Campbell, Schwartz and Surtain led American Heritage to its second consecutive 5A state championship and a spot at No. 4 in the final MaxPreps Top 25 after going 14-0.

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) has had more players selected than any other high school over the last 20 years with 23 taken and Wilson's mock draft predicts there will be four more in the 2021 draft — Trevon Grimes, Elijah Moore, Josh Palmer and Asante Samuel Jr.

All four played together during the 2016 season when Aquinas went 13-2 and finished the year ranked No. 6 after winning the 7A state title.

Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas) has three players slated to be taken led by Jaylen Waddle — slotted to go sixth overall by the Miami Dolphins. Walker Little and Marvin Wilson are expected to also hear their names called. Little and Wilson were part of the Class of 2017 while Waddle was a year behind them and they went 9-2 during the 2016 season.