Trevor Lawrence poise to make bigger leap than other 2-year quarterbacks

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have taken several steps to ensure that Trevor Lawrence is in a position to succeed in 2022 but they aren’t the only club that has upgraded the talent surrounding their respective second-year quarterbacks. Nevertheless, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports envisions Lawrence making a bigger leap than most of them in Year 2.

La Canfora recently ranked every sophomore quarterback based on how likely it’s they’ll take a leap in 2022. Lawrence popped up at No. 2, one spot above Zach Wilson, while Trey Lance landed at the top. Regarding the Jaguars’ young passer, La Canfora says it was rather puzzling to see him miss “easy, previously ho-hum throws” early in the 2021 season. On the other hand, he points out that Lawrence started completing those as the season progressed and believes he has the talent to succeed in Year 2 under head coach Doug Pederson.

"Those concerning misses very gradually subsided as the season progressed, but despite their presence in what was a borderline catastrophic 2021 season for him and the Jaguars organization as a whole, they did not completely erase my memories of evaluating Lawrence as a prospect. He has got the goods. And by “goods” I mean special on-field characteristics. The receiver group is improving yet still far from awesome, but I’m confident Doug Pedersen is going to be significantly more of a steadying force on the sideline for Lawrence than the quarterback’s previous coaching. Lawrence will take a noticeable jump in Year 2."

La Canfora ranked Justin Fields last because he doesn’t think the Chicago Bears have done enough to help him this offseason. Similarly, Mac Jones earned the fifth spot because he had one of the “most overrated rookie seasons” in a while, in La Canfora’s eyes. Moreover, he thinks that he might not improve much due to his physical limitations.

The Jaguars have built around Trevor Lawrence this offseason.

Trevor Lawrence threw three touchdown passes against the Houston Texans in Week 1 but never had more than two in a game in the remainder of the season. Furthermore, he logged 17 interceptions, tied with Matthew Stafford for the most in 2021. But as La Canfora noted, he improved as the year progressed. Moreover, context matters, and when you take into account that the former Clemson Tiger didn’t have a competent head coach nor a superb supporting cast, there isn’t much he could have done differently. On the bright side, there are reasons for optimism.

Doug Pederson will help Lawrence work on his fundamentals but he will also teach him how to carry himself and be the face of the franchise. The Jaguars’ head coach will build around Lawrence and will ask for his input to craft the offense. Moreover, the second-year talent will have a vastly improved supporting cast. Jacksonville signed wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, and tight end Evan Engram in free agency. However, the team’s brass also allocated several resources to the defensive side of the ball, which will also help Lawrence since he won’t have to score 30 points per game to win.

The Jaguars might not win more than seven games in 2022 but they should show meaningful progress. Also, Lawrence will put on display the talent that made him the first overall pick in last year’s draft because of everything the team has done to help him this offseason.

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