Does QB Trevor Lawrence have the most to prove in 2021 preseason?

QB Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars participates at Dream Finders Homes (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)
QB Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars participates at Dream Finders Homes (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) /

Just like any other first overall draft pick, Trevor Lawrence is under scrutiny to perform at a high level. The Jacksonville Jaguars believe they have a potential franchise quarterback in the Clemson product, and rightfully so, as he’s been one of the most talented prospects to come out of the college ranks in recent years.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report has identified what he believes are the NFL players with the most to prove in 2021’s preseason and Lawrence, along with the other rookie quarterbacks drafted in the first round this year, popped up on the list. Knox thinks Lawrence and Zach Wilson are under the most pressure ahead of the 2021 regular season.

"In Jacksonville and New York, it’s rookie or bust. Lawrence and Wilson must prove that they are ready to start right away, while Jones, Fields, and Lance must, at a minimum, show that they are progressing well enough to fill backup roles."

Other players that appeared on the list were defensive end Clelin Ferrell (Las Vegas Raiders),  linebacker Krys Barnes (Green Bay Packers), left tackle Cameron Irvin (Carolina Panthers), quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (Denver Broncos), and quarterback Taysom Hill (New Orleans Saints).

What do the Jacksonville Jaguars expect from Trevor Lawrence?

Saying that it’s “rookie or bust” for Trevor Lawrence may be a tad too extreme. As talented as he is, the Jaguars don’t expect him to turn into an All-Pro quarterback right out of the gate. Instead, they most likely want to see him take the right steps in his rookie campaign and show flashes of that talent that made him the top pick in this year’s draft. Jaguars offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer likes what he’s seen from Lawrence so far. Here’s what he had to say about the former Tiger, via the team’s official website:

"He’s progressing nicely. There are going to be interceptions. He has thrown those. That’s going to happen. Now, if he keeps repeating those mistakes that’s when you know he’s not listening and he’s not listening and not making corrections. But he’s not repeating those same mistakes. That’s when you get excited."

So far, Lawrence has had a solid training camp. While he’s made a few throws that would surely want back, he’s also had very productive practices. He’s made mistakes, just like any other rookie quarterback would, but he’s also shown progress. Although the team hasn’t officially named him the starter, it may be a matter of time before they do. It’s possible that they will do it after the preseason.

Also, the Jaguars are aware that Lawrence alone can’t turn things around. That’s why they have made upgrades to most positional groups this offseason. Even though they had running back James Running back on the roster, they drafted Travis Etienne in the first round. They will probably run the ball often to take some pressure off their rookie passer.

Even though head coach Urban Meyer says the Jags’ rebuild is a ‘one-year plan’, it’s unrealistic to expect them to become playoff contenders in 2021, especially with the Tennessee Titans playing in the same division. However, they should be significantly better than they were last season, and Trevor Lawrence will be one of the main reasons why.

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