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2021 NFL Draft

April 29 - May 1
ABC, ESPN & NFL Network

Buzz around Stanford’s Davis Mills has analysts projecting the QB into the first round

Apr 23, 2021

A former five-star recruit, an imposing 6-foot-4 frame, deadly accuracy, talent to throw for over 500 yards in a game - these are all traits generally attributed to college quarterbacks with first-round buzz. 

However, that hasn’t always been the case for Stanford’s Davis Mills. That is, until very recently.

Coming out of high school, Mills was one of the top prospects in the country. Though, after battling injuries early in his career and then with a shortened final season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he ended up making just 11 career starts for the Cardinal. 

Though it was limited, Mills made the most out of those 11 starts. He finished his career with a 65.5% completion percentage, just 1.1% lower than consensus No. 1 overall pick, Trevor Lawrence. He also holds the Stanford record for most passing yards in a single game with 504. That means he had more yards in a game than Cardinal greats John Elway and Andrew Luck - two of the most-hyped quarterback prospects of all time and both first-overall selections in their respective drafts.

As Stanford head coach David Shaw explained on the Haberman & Middlekauff podcast, Mills “is one of those evaluations where you’re not looking at what he does well, you say ‘is there anything he doesn’t do well?”

Even so, until the past few weeks, Mills had been somewhat of a draft afterthought as it relates to first-round quarterback buzz. There was little fanfare when he declared for the draft last December compared to other QBs from around the country.

But after an excellent pro day, his draft momentum appears to be peaking at just the right time. 

Quarterback-needy teams without a top-10 pick, such as the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, and New Orleans Saints have been linked to Mills. Even the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been rumored to be looking at Mills as a possible replacement for 43-year-old Tom Brady. 

Even if he doesn’t go in the first round, Mills’ physical traits and potential all but assure that he’ll be taken at some point early on. The 2021 NFL Draft is set for April 29 through May 1 on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network with the first round kicking off the three-day event on Thursday, April 29 at 5 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. MT. Follow along at and across social media to make sure you don’t miss a minute of the action.