What’s In A Name? Grading Rookie Quarterbacks On How Cool Their Name Is

Think about the star players in your lifetime: most, if not all, have killer names. Guys with average names get forgotten. Guys who can go by one name or memorable initials get idolized. It’s better to have an elite name than one that gets you washed away with the rest of the Jimmy’s and Joe’s someone plays with.

For your fantasy rosters, you do the same thing every year: try your best to figure out who is going to perform well and get you wins. Fantasy Gazette has simplified this: we grade players based on what their name is, so that you know exactly who is headed for stardom and who isn’t. Let’s dive in, starting with the 2021 class of quarterbacks.

Trevor Lawrence, B+

He’s been the chosen one for a number of years. Intensely successful production at Clemson and a good combine score to go along with great hair, too. We can throw all this away, it doesn’t matter. Does his name sound like he will be good at football?

“Trevor Lawrence” is a classic All-American name. The symmetrical two-syllables will make for an easy “Tre-vor Law-rence…clap, clap, clapclapclap” pattern in stadiums. This should translate well to the professional level. We also have dual ‘R’ sounds in each name, adding a level of menace perfectly explained by The Office’s Dwight Schrute. This should strike a certain degree of fear into opponent’s hearts. Let’s talk about the final crucial name value Trevor holds: he has two first names.

Go ahead, think of a legendary athlete that doesn’t have two first names. Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, LeBron James. They have what other athletes can only dream of. Athletes with two first names are crowd favorites, and have names that are fun to say and easy to remember. Trevor has this, and he’s going to be set up for success.

His name doesn’t quite break through to the upper tier, which leaves him with a respectable B+.

Zach Wilson, C

Yeah, the number two overall pick has rushing upside and is a day 1 starter. But this vanilla-ass name is so forgettable I feel like you could accidentally call him Jake Miller or something on accident at some point this season. Also, if you told me that there was a QB named Zach Wilson and then asked me to guess where he was from, I would have said Utah. “Zach Wilson” is the name of your high school’s prom king that never leaves your hometown.

The C grade is a combination of a lack of originality and forgettable-ness, nothing excellent about it but nothing terrible, either. Wilson could either be a bust or a star, unfortunately the name doesn’t give away any results quite yet.

Trey Lance, A

If I had to write a sports novel for teenagers, and I needed a name for the cool jock character, I am naming that guy Trey Lance.

The name rolls off the tongue at an elite smoothness, which should bode well for his popularity. Each name has one syllable, it’s quick to say, and he also benefits from the “Two First Names” bonus. A name like “Trey Lance” also sounds like the villain quarterback from a teenage drama show like Riverdale, but this doesn’t necessarily hurt him here. The name gives off a vibe that just screams “THIS GUY IS GOOD AT SPORTS” and we’re here for it. Based on name value, Trey Lance is set for stardom. He’s our top QB name in the class.

Justin Fields, B

This one is two-fold. The first name “Justin” doesn’t quite have the ring to it that you want from a star professional athlete. The Biebers and Timberlakes of the world have relegated it the fine arts, although Chargers QB Justin Herbert has helped. But guys…

We need to talk about the most crucial aspect of his name: his last name is part of the game of football.

The guy’s last name is FIELDS. Remember how much we loved Lonzo and LaMelo Ball’s outlook in the NBA? They had a name that immediately connected you with the sport they played. What about Margaret Court, legendary tennis player? Usain Bolt, sprinter? You love this type of name. Start thinking about the puns from commentators or headlines: “Fields goes the length of the field,” or something. Fields is set up for success from a name with inherent value to the sport.

If he were named Justin Touchdown, we’d have to give him an A+. If it was Justin Goalpost, the ring just isn’t there and it would be a C. Fields is a nice middle ground. If only his first name was a bit cooler.

Mac Jones, A-

Yes, we’re going with the abbreviated “Mac.” Going by his birthname Michael Jones would dock him a whole letter grade or two.

“Mac” has a great athletic ring to it, and sets him up for excellent nicknames, chants, and more. Cam Newton has already nicknamed him “Mac and Cheese,” which sucks – but it’s a start. “Mac Jones” sounds like rapper “Mike Jones” which gives off some elite name vibes. You can start saying things like “Mac Jones he running the game” and bang you’ve got an elite QB name. Jones is popular enough to be memorable and flows well with the quick first name Mac, giving him a one-syllable each bonus similar to Trey Lance. Mac also sports the initials “M.J.” This is fantastic for his outlook as a pro, and he sounds like someone we’ll be hearing from plenty in his career.

The “Big 5” from this class have an overall excellent score, so let’s dive a bit deeper.

Kyle Trask, D

Yeah, we’re not feeling this one. Just doesn’t sound like Trask will become elite based on his name, honestly. “Kyle” brings us back to the drywall-punching, Mountain Dew crazed memes, and Trask sounds way too much like “Trash.” Imagine the “Kyle Trash” jokes. No thanks. If you want to drop it to F, go ahead.

Kellen Mond, C

Not too shabby here for the third-round pick for the Vikings. There’s something missing that could push it up into the B range, though. Possibly something cooler than “Mond,” we aren’t sure. The full name doesn’t roll off the tongue like a typical star’s should, and he’s going to need to overcome this if he wants to take over for Kirk Cousins (B- name).

Davis Mills, C-

“Davis Mills” does benefit from alliteration with the multiple ‘S’ sounds, but Mills has two LAST names, not first names. This is not good. Davis Mills gives off the impression that this is a local lawyer firm called Davis & Mills. They seemingly enough money for 100 local billboards and commercials, but not enough to ever get you to hire them. Mills has a chance to start right away for Houston, but with a C- name grade he is likely going to be nothing more than average.

Ian Book, F

Most name grades are based off what you picture when seeing their name. Ian Book sounds like the librarian in a kids show that even the preschoolers watching it hate with a passion. This name does not sound cool for shit, and nobody in their right mind could convince us otherwise. Ian Book gets the worst grade of the class, and we don’t see any sunshine on the horizon here.

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