Trevor Lawrence selected No. 1 overall by Jaguars in 2021 NFL Draft
Wake up DUUUUUUUUVAL, the savior has arrived.
Anointed a future No. 1 overall draft pick since his freshman year at Clemson, Trevor Lawrence fulfilled that destiny.
The Jacksonville Jaguars made the obvious official Thursday night, selecting Lawrence with the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The blond-haired quarterback has been penciled in as the Jaguars’ starting signal-caller since the club clinched the No. 1 pick following its Week 16 loss. Lawrence is the reason Urban Meyer is the coach in Jacksonville, and the reason for optimism of a swift rise for the Duval franchise.
“If this isn’t a moment to enjoy for me and for all the Jags fans, you need more coffee or you need something else,” Jags owner Shad Khan cooed in the week leading up to the draft. “This is a great-to-be-alive kind of moment, frankly.”
It’s the first time in franchise history the Jaguars have owned the No. 1 overall pick. Khan’s club picked a good year for it. A generational quarterback landed right in its lap.
Lawrence is as pristine a product entering the NFL since Andrew Luck came out of Stanford.
The athletic passer owns a quick release and fluid throwing motion. Quibble about his delivery being too long if you must, but it never slowed getting the ball out. Lawrence’s arm is pure, and he can throw from multiple platforms. His accuracy is sublime and he can drive the ball to all levels of the field. With good feet and the ability to move, Lawrence is a near perfect evaluation.
Add to his ideal size, arm strength and mobility, the mental acumen to filter through progressions and run an offense from the line of scrimmage.
Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will have zero trouble designing an offense tailored to Lawrence’s multifaceted skill set. The QB has proven he can be as comfortable running the option as he is shotgun spread or hurling the pigskin deep.
A three-year starter at Clemson, Lawrence generated 90 passing touchdowns in his college career. The Tigers went 34-2 in his 36 starts including three straight College Football Playoff appearances (winning it all in his freshman campaign in 2018).
Since 2018, Lawrence ranks tied for first in the FBS in TD passes, and second in yards (10,098), total yards (11,041) and total TDs (108).
The 21-year-old combines precision passing with field-stretching acumen. According to Pro Football Focus, Lawrence generated 10-plus TDs and 100-plus passer rating on deep passes in each of his college seasons. He’s the only FBS QB with 10-plus deep TD passes in each of the past three campaigns.
Not only is Lawrence the first No. 1 pick by Jacksonville, he’s the top Clemson player ever selected, and first selected in the top three in the NFL draft — four Clemson players have been selected fourth overall, most recently WR Sammy Watkins in 2014 (Bills) and DE Clelin Ferrell in 2019 (Raiders).
The No. 1-ranked recruit coming out of high school, Lawrence knows the pressure of expectations, which should serve him well with the whole of Jacksonville expecting the Georgia native to carry them to the promised land.
Since Khan purchased the Jags in 2012, the club has had just one winning season, the magical 2017 campaign in which it lost in excruciating fashion in the AFC Championship Game. Outside of that year, Khan has never enjoyed more than six wins in a season.
“Nine years ago, buying the team, it was like the great journey, the first step on a 1,000-mile journey and looking to the horizon,” Khan said this week. “And what it is now? We’ve been through ups and downs, mostly downs, and now you’re looking at a great upside.”
With his natural talent and intelligence, Lawrence epitomized that upside. Some born cynics might quibble with his admission during the draft process that he doesn’t subscribe to the manufactured “chip on shoulder” cliché so often the bedrock of athlete-speak. Nitpicking Lawrence belies his on-field demeanor and the toughness he displayed throughout his college career, particularly in pressure-packed situations.
Lawrence being comfortable in his own skin is great news for Jaguars fans and awesome news for a franchise who lived through days with insecure signal-callers in the past.
“We’re looking at hope, optimism,” Khan said. “I want to enjoy the moment. I want all the fans, all of us in Jacksonville, to enjoy this moment and our time in the national spotlight. If we have hope and we’re winning, obviously, that’s a lot better for the city and it’s a lot better for the Jags.”
Shouldering that unbridled hope is Trevor Lawrence with his golden locks and golden arm.
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