Trevor Lawrence earns shockingly high spot in preseason ranking
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is up to a slow start in the preseason. Although the rookie passer hasn’t been particularly bad, he hasn’t been great either. While it’s easy to feel discouraged, it’s too early to give up on him. Heck, the regular season hasn’t even started yet.
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently ranked every starting quarterback in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season and Lawrence popped up at 22. Sure, he isn’t in the top ten, but that’s a surprisingly high spot for someone who hasn’t played a snap in the regular season and hasn’t scored a touchdown in two preseason games. So why is the Clemson product ahead of established veterans such as Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor? Upside. He believes that most general managers would take Lawrence over passers “who have limited unimpressive resumes or trend toward decline going into the 2021 season”.
"Lawrence has the skill set to become a top-tier quarterback. He’s quick on his feet, makes shrewd split-second decisions and tests defenses on all levels of the field. The Clemson product comes into the league with three full seasons of collegiate experience, playing against top-notch competition in the College Football Playoff every year. He’s prepared for the pro stage."
Here’s a list of all the quarterbacks that were ranked below Lawrence: Tyrod Taylor (32), Jalen Hurts (31), Zach Wilson (30), Drew Lock/Teddy Bridgewater (29), Tua Tagovailoa (28), Sam Darnold (27), Jimmy Garoppolo (26), Andy Dalton (25), Cam Newton (24), and Ryan Fitzpatrick (23). That group includes a former MVP (Newton), and a Pro Bowler (Dalton).
Trevor Lawrence will make an impact sooner rather than later.
Moton’s ranking seems fair but one quarterback ranked below Lawrence stands out, Zach Wilson. The BYU product has had the better preseason, completing 21 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Lawrence has yet to score in two games, so why is he ranked significantly higher? As Moton said, the former Tiger has significantly more potential and this preseason sample is simply too small.
Wilson is a fine player but Lawrence was the consensus top pick in the draft. There were evaluators that preferred Justin Fields or Wilson, but even they can’t deny the 2020 ACC Player of the Year is as talented as they come. Also, context is necessary when evaluating Lawrence’s unimpressive performance over the last two season games. He hasn’t had optimal protection and the running game has been non-existent. If the Jags can fix those issues, his performance should improve.
The Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence first overall because they think he’s the franchise quarterback they’ve been missing. Two preseason games won’t change that perception and the latest ranking reflects that. After all, he’s still a rookie. Expect an improvement in Jacksonville’s preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys.