Will Trevor Lawrence be PFF’s highest-graded QB in a decade?

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Bob Self/Florida Times-Union)
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Bob Self/Florida Times-Union) /

What kind of expectations should the Jacksonville Jaguars have for quarterback Trevor Lawrence in 2021? Throwing for over 4,400 yards? Seems reasonable, right? Scoring 25 passing touchdowns? That looks pretty doable when you take into account he will be completing passes to a trio of solid wide receivers in DJ Chark Jr., Marvin Jones Jr., and Laviska Shenault Jr. Offensive Rookie of the Year? Why not? How about being the highest-graded rookie passer in the last decade?

Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus recently drew up a list of nine predictions for the 2021 rookie class and believes Lawrence has the tools to earn the highest grade by a first-year quarterback in over a decade.

Treash points out that the former Tiger is one of the best prospects to come out of the collegiate ranks in the last ten years. He also notes that Gardner Minshew‘s PFF overall grade of 70.3 in 2019 is the highest one a Jaguars signal-caller has earned over the last ten years. Treash believes Lawrence has all the tools to achieve the feat.

"It’d honestly be more of a surprise if Lawrence didn’t surpass that mark out of the gate. He’s the most complete quarterback prospect PFF has ever seen. Timing, arm strength, mobility, pocket presence — he has it all. It’s why he is the only quarterback in the PFF College era who has recorded a PFF grade above 90.0 as a true freshman, sophomore, and junior."

Trevor Lawrence may have a different set of goals for the 2021 season.

Nobody will deny that it would be great to see Lawrence become PFF’s highest-graded rookie passer in the NFL but there may be better indicators to measure his success. First, quarterbacks are judged by the number of wins their team gets, fair or not. The Clemson product is indeed a generational talent that possesses all the tools to thrive in the pros. But it won’t amount to much if he can’t put them to use and help the Jags earn victories.

On the other hand, Lawrence’s PFF grade will be linked to his performance. If he has a good game, he will most likely have a good mark. Keep in mind that PFF’s system isn’t perfect and is just one of many tools to evaluate a player’s performance, so there may be times when his grade won’t match what he does on the football field.

So far, Lawrence has had an outstanding training camp. Although he suffered a hamstring injury during the Jaguars’ organized team activities, he hasn’t had any setbacks. On the contrary, he made several impressive throws in practice and has put on display all those attributes that made him the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Jaguars’ brass is doing everything they can to ensure Trevor Lawrence succeeds right out of the gate. Although winning games is the ultimate goal, seeing the rookie passer thrive in his rookie campaign will be a delight. The Jaguars haven’t had much luck finding a franchise quarterback. It seems like their search might have ended with Lawrence, who is so good that he could be PFF’s highest-graded signal-caller in over a decade.

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