If you follow me, you know that I have a strong love for football and film. Every year as the Academy announces their Best Picture nominees, I go back and rewatch the movies and rank them. I always do the same with each draft class. I start early in the season, and as the season progresses, they change, and I give one final ranking. So I decided to play a fun game of pairing the 2021 Best Picture Nominees with the 2021 Quarterback Draft Class.
On the surface, it looked more straightforward, but as I dug deeper into each player/film, I struggled with some of the comparisons at the top.
Best Picture Nominees
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of Chicago 7
Judas and the Black Messiah
Sound of Metal
Top 8 Quarterbacks in the Class
Mank + Davis Mills
Mank and Davis Mills fit PERFECTLY together. They were both hyped up coming into their releases. Mank was directed by David Fincher, known for his great work with The Social Network, Gone Girl, and Zodiac. Davis Mills was a Five-Star prospect coming out of High School, ranked as the number one Quarterback and 15th overall in the entire draft class.
The hype was real, both had MASSIVE potential, and both were letdowns. Mills fell short due to injuries and not fulfilling his promise, and Fincher with Mank was not as good as expected.
Both Fincher and Mills have chances to redeem themselves in the future, so that’s a plus.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 + Kellen Mond
I would say this was probably my most challenging pairing of the group. The Trial of Chicago 7 wasn’t a bad movie which, like Kellen Mond, isn’t a bad quarterback but where they go hand in hand is that they are both hard not to look at and think ‘what might have been.’
Both are rather versatile. Trial has some fantastic performances from the entire group, and Mond can make plays with his arm and his legs. Where I think they pair the best is the disappointment in their run. Trial was expected to be the front-runner for the Oscars, and Mond was expected to make that leap from junior to senior year, and both end up on the short end of the stick.
Minari + Trey Lance
The true underdog of this QB class is Trey Lance, and the true underdog story of the Oscar season is Minari. Jacob (Steven Yeun) is trying to beat the odds by coming over to America and provide a better life for his family. Lance is trying to beat the odds of playing for an FCS school and make it to the NFL.
Both Jacob and Lance are innovative in their respective worlds. They adapt on the fly, they make things happen regardless of what is going on around them, and they both have the will to overcome everything.
Never count out the underdog because in the end, you will have an egg on your face.
Sound of Metal + Kyle Trask
I struggled with what film to attach to Kyle Trask. Trask is an interesting prospect. He came on a little late last season and broke out in a HUGE way this past season.
Sound of Metal follows Ruben, a drummer that is on the verge of losing his hearing, and because of this, he goes down this path of trying to find himself. But this is not who I compare Trask to, and I compare him more to Joe, a guy that overcame several obstacles, including his own doing, to find himself in this place of happiness.
Trask struggled early and wasn’t sure he’d ever see that field, and he battles his way back onto the field and makes a name for himself. Joe and Trask’s journey may not be the same, but they both overcame things to get where they are today.
Nomadland + Mac Jones
From the underdog to the favorite, that is the journey of Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland and Mac Jones. Jones was waiting in the wings, and people didn’t want to give him a chance after quarterback Tua Tagoviola left for the NFL. The Trial of the Chicago 7 broke onto the scene and headed to Oscar glory, and Nomadland was just another nominee.
Fast forward to April 2021, Chloe Zhao is the leader in the clubhouse for the Best Director Oscar and Mac Jones, fresh-off a masterful season, will be one of the top quarterbacks selected in the upcoming draft. These two will be at the forefront of their respective industries for years to come.
Justin Fields + Judas and the Black Messiah
We don’t always see players standing up for what they believe in, especially in college. Fields did just that last season against the Big Ten as he let it be known that they wanted to play football. He started a petition that received over 200 thousand signatures, and because he let his voice be heard, the Big Ten played football this season.
He showed authentic leadership and how he spoke up for the BLM movement as well. He uses his platform for the good of those around him. Fred Hampton was that leader, stood up against the grain, and made his voice known.
Promising Young Woman + Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson and Emerald Fennell had shown flashes of their abilities in years past, but both brown down the walls in 2020. Let’s be completely honest, Wilson looks like he could’ve played any of the guys in this film, and we wouldn’t think twice about it. Flashy, vibrant, colorful are words I could describe PYM and Wilson.
My only problem with the comparison, I loved Promising Young Woman, and I am not a fan of Zach Wilson as a prospect.
P.S. I am not saying Zach Wilson would do anything to represent what was done by the guys I compared him to.
The Father + Trevor Lawrence
Lawrence is considered one of the best prospects to come out of college in a long time, and Anthony Hopkins is regarded as one of the best actors of all time. What makes the comparison even better, both are being put through the ringer this season.
Hopkins gave the best performance of the year (IMO), and Lawrence is THAT good, but both are being nitpicked, whether it’s the ‘been there, done that,’ or this guy or this guy is better than them. While there have been viable contenders across the board, both of these guys are as good as advertised.