The Jacksonville Jaguars believe Trevor Lawrence can be the franchise quarterback the organization has frantically searched for over two decades. Thus, selecting him with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft was a no-brainer. Even though he hasn’t taken a snap in the pros, he landed above several vested veterans in a recent ranking.
Matt Verderame of FanSided recently ranked every NFL starting quarterback ahead of Week 1 and Lawrence popped up at 22nd on the list. Verderame projects the rookie passer will complete 69.2 percent of his passes for 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. Here’s the skinny on the top pick in the 2021 draft.
"Lawrence properly gets top billing among the rookies. The Jaguars aren’t putting him in a good spot behind their offensive line, but the weapons are good led by receivers Marvin Jones and D.J. Chark. There might be early struggles, but Lawrence should blossom into a star."
That’s a pretty encouraging assessment of Lawrence. Then again, he’s been pegged as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012. In the Jaguars’ preseason finale, he showed flashes of the playmaking prowess that helped him earn the “generational talent” label, going 11-of-12 for 139 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Keep in mind that he’s the favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year, according to WynnBET. His odds are currently set at +250. Mac Jones is next at +300 and Justin Fields is third at +525.
Some quarterbacks deserved a higher ranking than Trevor Lawrence.
Here are the quarterbacks Verderame ranked below Lawrence: Tyrod Taylor (32nd), Andy Dalton (31st), Sam Darnold (30th), Zach Wilson (29th), Jalen Hurts (28th), Daniel Jones (27th), Jameis Winston (26th), Teddy Bridgewater (25th), Carson Wentz (24th), and fellow rookie Mac Jones (23rd). It’s rather surprising to see Tyrod Taylor land appear at the cellar. He will be the starting quarterback when the Jags face off against the Houston Texans in Week 1.
Keep in mind that many of the quarterbacks that appeared below Lawrence have previously earned Pro Bowl designations. Also, Carson Wentz looked like an MVP in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl run and was somehow able to keep Philly afloat in 2019 despite the fact that he had no reliable wide receivers at his disposal.
Jameis Winson has been mistake-prone in the past but if he can keep his interception totals in check, he could enjoy a career revival under New Orleans head coach Sean Payton. As recently as Week 2 of the preseason, he torched the Jaguars’ secondary, completing nine of ten passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. If anything, he deserved a higher spot in Verderame’s ranking.
Trevor Lawrence has been trending up and is ready for his NFL debut.
Lawrence underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder earlier this year. He later suffered a hamstring injury in the Jaguars’ organized activities. However, he was a full go in training camp. Although he had a few bad days, he outplayed quarterback Gardner Minshew as was named the starting quarterback ahead of the Jaguars’ Week 3 preseason game. Moreover, he was recently voted team captain by his teammates, which is a noteworthy accomplishment when you take into account he is just a rookie.
Lawrence is set to make his NFL debut when the Jaguars take on the Texans in Week 1. If he performs the way he did in the preseason finale, he should move up a few spots in Verderame’s ranking.