Jaguars’ rookie report card a mixed bag ahead of Week 13

Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)
Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence (16), quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

When it comes to the NFL draft, you always have to expect the unexpected, as there’s no reliable way to know who’s going to flop. One rookie class can propel your team to the playoffs while often missing on early-round picks is going to cost you your job. Ask, former Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell, who got the boot after years of minimal results.

Calwell’s successor, Trent Baalke had several picks at his disposal in this year’s draft and came out of it with nine players. While some of them have contributed early, some haven’t had the impact the team probably expected.

Keep in mind that the Jaguars waived wide receiver Jalen Camp before the start of the season, so he got an F right out of the game. Here’s how the rest of the Jaguars’ 2021 rookie class has fared after 11 games.

Jaguars’ rookie report card – Trevor Lawrence – 1st round, 1st overall

As talented as Mac Jones, Justin Fields, and Zach Fields are, the Jaguars zeroed in on Trevor Lawrence early in the draft process, and there was a 99.9 certainty they would use the first overall pick on him.

At first sight, it looks like Lawrence is struggling. His stats don’t paint an encouraging picture, a 58 percent completion rate, nine touchdowns, and ten interceptions ahead of Week 13. However, a closer look will reveal he’s playing well in spite of having a less-than-stellar supporting cast.

Lawrence has and will make mistakes, just like any other rookie but he’s not the reason the Jags are currently 2-9. You could argue that the coaching staff should bench in favor of C.J. Beathard to win but that would hinder his progress. Even though he doesn’t have much talent at his disposal, the Jaguars must ensure he keeps developing, and having him play is the best way to ensure that happens.

Don’t forget this was always going to be a developing year. If Lawrence keeps getting better and the Jaguars’ front office can add some firepower to the offense next offseason, this team should improve a lot.

Grade: B