There's so much time between now and April 29, you're going to think you've heard everything when the 2021 NFL Draft rolls around, even when it comes to the top selection this year.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who officially declared his intentions to turn pro on Wednesday, is supposed to be the No. 1 pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. But if that's the narrative spun for the next four months, media outlets are going to have a hard time getting clicks and likes and ratings.
So fully expect to hear "anonymous" scouts and steep speculation that Ohio State's Justin Fields, who bested Lawrence and the Tigers in the Sugar Bowl last Friday, has a chance to jump to No. 1.
Just don't bring that conversation around Mel Kiper Jr. The longtime ESPN NFL draft analyst said there's a "100 million percent" chance that Lawrence is the first overall selection this year.
"It's not even worth talking about," Kiper said on ESPN's "First Take" on Tuesday when asked if Lawrence could fall past Fields. "Let's not waste time on that. Trevor Lawrence is No. 1."
Kiper cited the "body of work" and said there isn't another player close to surpassing Lawrence. While he says Fields could end up being a very good pro QB, Lawrence is going to be "spectacular" at the next level.
"This is like Secretariat and the rest of the horses in that race, the Triple Crown," Kiper said.
He wouldn't entertain any other notion from the ESPN show's panel. He says Lawrence is in the same category as John Elway, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck
"Trevor Lawrence is locked in as the No. 1 guy," Kiper said. "Nobody is even close."
He added that the decision by the Jaguars has already been made to take Lawrence, no matter if former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer takes over in Jacksonville or if it's somebody else as head coach. Lawrence will be headed there.
“I really feel like I’m a man now and I’m ready to take on those challenges," Lawrence said Wednesday. "Just super excited for life ahead. The best is always yet to come, but I’m grateful for Clemson and I’m going to miss it.”
As for Fields, Kiper doesn't put the former Georgia quarterback and longtime rival of Lawrence's at No. 2 to the New York Jets. He thinks that organization will hold on to Sam Darnold, who they drafted in third overall in 2018.
Kiper said Fields needed that 385-yard, 6-touchdown performance against Clemson in their College Football Playoff semifinal to secure a spot in the first round after a couple of lackluster games heading into the Sugar Bowl.
Lawrence finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting, which was announced Tuesday night. He finished his college career with 6,945 passing yards, 66 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. Lawrence went 34-2 as a starting quarterback and led the Tigers to three ACC titles, three CFP appearances and the national title in 2018.