Trevor Lawrence listed as rookie QB with highest expectations in 2021

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

Five quarterbacks were drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Is Trevor Lawrence the one facing the highest expectations ahead of the 2021 season? 

The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t been good in a while and one of the biggest reasons for that was their inability to find a franchise quarterback. This should change with the arrival of Trevor Lawrence, who is the most talented quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012. The Jags had the first overall selection in this year’s draft, which means that they had the chance to choose from a vast pool of signal-callers but settle on the former Tiger.

Heading into the 2021 season, Chris Roling of Bleacher Report ranked Lawrence as the rookie quarterback with the highest expectations. He says the Clemson product and Joe Burrow, the first overall pick in 2020’s draft, would have competed for the top pick if they had been in the same class. Roling also thinks the Jaguars’ rookie quarterback will face higher expectations than the ones the LSU product encountered last season. However, he believes that’s pretty reasonable when you take into account how gifted he is and the supporting cast he will have at his disposal.

Nevertheless, Roling wonders whether Lawrence’s health will be an issue. He points out that the rookie underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder and also dealt with a hamstring during organized team activities. In the end, Roling opines that the 2020 ACC Player of the Year was always going to have the highest expectations of his draft class, and honestly, he isn’t wrong.

Trevor Lawrence comes with high expectations but that’s not surprising.

If the rules had allowed it, Lawrence could have entered the NFL after his freshman year in college and he would’ve probably been a first-round selection. That’s how talented he was. Instead, he announced his decision to declare for this year’s selection meeting after his junior campaign. Thus, it’s fair to say whoever ended up taking him would expect him to develop into an upper-echelon quarterback in the NFL. Furthermore, being the first overall pick in the draft comes with a high level of scrutiny.

On the other hand, the Jags are trying no to putting too much on Lawrence’s plate and are making sure he’s in a position to succeed. They have spent the offseason revamping the roster and will surround their rookie quarterback with the best possible surrounding cast in order to lessen the pressure he will have in 2021.

Lawrence will be key in the Jaguar’s short and long-term success, but he won’t have to put the team on his shoulders in his first year. The Jags could bring the quarterback along slowly and progressively increase his responsibilities. It would be unrealistic for him to become an All-Pro right out of the gate but earning the NFL Rookie of the Year Award is feasible and so is throwing for over 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns.

The Jaguars should be concerned if Lawrence hasn’t become their franchise quarterback by Year 3. For the time being, they must make sure he’s ready to take the field in Week 1 of the 2021 season.

Next. Naming Lawrence the starter should be 'comically clear'. dark