Jacksonville Jaguars: Grading 2021 draft class ahead of regular season
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a surplus of draft picks this year, including two in the first round and two more in the second. If most of the selections turn into steady contributors, the Jags will be set for the future. On the other hand, if the picks don’t pan out, the team will have a hard time leaving the cellar of the NFL.
Now, grading a rookie class before the start of the regular season can be challenging. You don’t have much to work with and you’re mainly taking into account training camp practices, a few preseason performances, and not much else. Keep in mind that some players take more time to adjust to the pros than others and just because they’re off to a slow start doesn’t mean they will be busts. Thus, their offseason and preseason work are hardly an indicator of future success.
Still, it’s a good time to see how the Jaguars’ 2021 rookie class has progressed this summer. Here are the report cards for every player the Jags drafted this year.
How has the Jacksonville Jaguars’ rookie class fared?
1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, 1st overall pick, first round.
The Jaguars acquire several impact players this offseason but none is more important than quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Jacksonville has stretches of solid quarterback play but never have they had a true franchise quarterback. If the former Clemson Tiger plays up to his potential, the Jags will be set at the position for years.
Lawrence has had a productive offseason and more often than not, he showed progress throughout the summer. He looked overwhelmed in the first two preseason games, completing 20 of 32 passes for 184 and no touchdowns. He at times took too long to pull the trigger but the fact that he didn’t have good protection didn’t help matters.
Things got better in the preseason finale, and Lawrence went 11-of-12 for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Heading into the 2021 season, he was named team captain, something he believes is really cool. He will experience growing pains during his rookie campaign but he’s trending in the right direction.