Should the Jacksonville Jaguars lose games to draft a top QB?
Would the Jacksonville Jaguars actually tank the 2020 season to have a chance to draft Trevor Lawrence knowing he may not pan out in the NFL?
Some experts have proposed that the Jacksonville Jaguars lose games to select Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 draft.
Last season it was “Tank for Tua” in Miami. This year it’s “Lose for Lawrence” for the Jacksonville Jaguars. This would require professional athletes and coaches to literally play at a less than satisfactory level on the playing field. It’s not as easy as it would seem as players would have a hard time just walking on the field and giving their opponent the opportunity to win the game.
Honestly, I just don’t see it.
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In theory, the NFL’s best teams require a franchise quarterback like Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady. When one looks at college quarterbacks there is no way to predict with total accuracy whether the draft choice will be a superstar such as Cam Newton, an average journeyman like Sam Bradford, or a draft disaster like Blake Bortles. (Sorry Jaguars fans)
Imagine tanking for Ryan Leaf. I looked at the top quarterbacks in the last 10 years of the Draft and discovered that just because a quarterback is a top-five pick, it doesn’t make him an automatic superstar.
The top pick in 2010 was Bradford and he has had a solid but not overly productive career. 2011 produced Newton and he was/is worthy of the pick. He led the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl and was a dominant force because not only was he 6’5” and over 250 pounds but he could run and pass as well. He has played 14 or more games for eight seasons.
Right now, he is currently looking for work due to injuries. Is he worth teams risking the season for? Yes.
2012 was supposed to be a banner year for quarterbacks. Andrew Luck was the first overall pick. He was chosen to the All-Decade team, went to the Pro Bowl four times and was Comeback Player of the Year in 2018. He led the Indianapolis Colts to four winning seasons but retired due to injuries after 2018. Worth a tank? You tell me.
Robert Griffin III was the second pick in the 2012 Draft He took the NFL by storm his first season. He won the Rookie of the Year award and was chosen for the Pro Bowl. Injuries slowed him after two seasons and he is now a backup. Worth a tank? No
In 2013 the highest quarterback was E.J. Manuel with the 16th overall pick. Move on to 2014 and Blake Bortles was chosen third overall in the draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2015 Jameis Winston was the top pick and Marcus Mariota second. Both players are now backups in the league. Neither is worthy of teams fighting to draft them.
Jared Goff and Carson Wentz were drafted with the first two picks in 2016. Goff was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2018. Wentz was selected to the Pro Bowlin 2017. The jury is still out on whether these two were worthy of their lofty draft status.
An interesting sidelight was that Dak Prescott was drafted the same year in the fourth round and has played as well, if not better then either Wentz and Goff.
Mitchell Trubisky was the No. 2 overall pick in the Draft in 2017 and needs to prove his worth this coming season in Chicago. Mahomes has been everything the Chiefs have wanted in a quarterback and was selected 10th overall.
If Mahomes continues to play anywhere near this level he is worthy of a team fighting for that top spot in the Draft. Houston’s Deshaun Watson was taken two picks later, 12th overall. The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Leonard Fournette fourth overall in the same season when they could have used a signal-caller to lead their offense.
In 2018 Baker Mayfield was chosen as the top pick but has been outplayed so far by Lamar Jackson who was MVP in 2019 and taken with the last pick in the first round. There are many young quarterbacks but it is way too soon to decide what their NFL career will be.
Based on a lack of consistent production from recent top picks, it’s my opinion that the Jacksonville Jaguars should play to win the game because some of these selections are busts and you may just find a gem in the sixth round of the draft in 2019 like the team found in Gardner Minshew.