Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence far from a bust, needs better supporting cast

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) smiles before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) smiles before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s hard to blame rookie Trevor Lawrence for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2-10 record with five weeks left in the 2021 season. However, a talking head believes the former Clemson Tiger hasn’t shown enough promise and wonders if the B-word should be attached to his name.

Jason Smith of Fox Sports wonders why Lawrence’s name hasn’t popped up in conversations about bad quarterbacks. He believes the Jaguars’ signal-caller has been as bad as fellow rookie Zach Wilson He goes on to say Lawrence hasn’t shown flashes in his rookie campaign.

"Eventually, you have to flash a little bit in order to be a QB in the NFL. It doesn’t mean you have to have a great rookie season, but you have to have some sort of flash, and Lawrence has had none of that. Here’s what gets me: even in garbage time, Lawrence still isn’t able to move the ball downfield effectively."

Smith notes that Lawrence hasn’t looked comfortable and sees a player that “doesn’t behave like a future star quarterback”. He goes on to say the rookie passer hasn’t flashed at all this season and suggests he may be a bust.

Don’t let anyone tell you Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is a bust.

Lawrence has certainly made mistakes during his NFL career but he would be near the bottom of all the issues the Jaguars’ are facing right now. The coaching has been less than optimal, and the offense is devoid of playmakers, and one of the few ones they have was recently benched in back-to-back wins. Moreover, his wide receiver can’t create separation and own the dubious honor of leading the league in drops.

Sure, Lawrence has thrown just one pass over the last five games but he’s also made sound decisions for the most part and has thrown just one interception in that span. Here’s a breakdown of the aforementioned touchdown pass, along with some praise from analyst Dan Orlovsky:

Lawrence is averaging a mediocre 5.9 yards per attempt but he doesn’t have a wide receiver that can stretch the field. You can’t blame that on him. Taking deep shots without a deep threat and hope for the best would be reckless.

Gardner Minshew proved Trevor Lawrence isn’t in an optimal situation.

Quarterback Gardner Minshew only won six games during his two-year stint in Jacksonville. Just like Lawrence, he made mistakes and also lacked a decent surrounding cast. Now with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Moustache proved what he can do when he has a good supporting cast. In Week 13, he started in place of an injured Jalen Hurts and went on to lead Philly to a 22-18 win over the Jets, completing 75 percent of his passes for 242 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

It’s possible that the talent level on the Jaguars’ roster was holding Minshew back and you could argue the same is happening to Lawrence right now. Keep in mind that running back Travis Etienne suffered a Lisfranc injury before the season started. The 25th overall pick in the 2021 draft was supposed to have a big role on offense this year. Similarly, the Jags lost wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. and Jamal Agnew to injuries. The best quarterbacks elevate their teams with whatever they got at hand but expecting Lawrence to do that after just 12 career starts is too much.

Lawrence has shown flashes of the playmaking prowess that made him the top overall pick in this year’s draft. Hopefully, the Jaguars realized they haven’t helped him much in 2021 and will surround him with more difference-makers next offseason.

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