Trevor Lawrence lands in bottom half of AFC quarterback rankings

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at TIAA Bank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at TIAA Bank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

Sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence is getting plenty of attention ahead of the 2022 NFL regulars season, which isn’t surprising when you take into account that he’s a former first overall pick and that he plays the most important attention in the game of football. However, the former Clemson Tiger needs to take the field and deliver before he’s mentioned in the same breath as other young passers, such as Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow.

Speaking of Herbert and Burrow, they both earned higher spots than Lawrence in a recent AFC quarterback ranking by Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports. In fact, the Jaguars’ young passer finished in the bottom half, at No. 12. The only quarterbacks that got a lower spot than Lawrence were Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins), Kenny Picket (Pittsburgh Steelers), Zach Wilson, and Davis Mills (Houston Texans). Benjamin argues that Lawrence’s spot on the list might be a cause for disagreement but believes that he should improve under head coach Doug Pederson.

"This might seem too high to some, and too low to others. Lawrence, after all, really struggled to overcome the mess that was the Jaguars’ 2021 season; he never looked considerably comfortable, and his turnovers easily outnumbered his TDs. But let’s not forget this guy was crowned the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck one year ago. Now under the mentorship of Doug Pederson, he’s primed to better showcase his ability as a total-package starter."

Benjamin’s assessment of Lawrence’s rookie campaign is fair. He showed flashes of the immense talent he possesses and made throws other quarterbacks would love to pull off. On the other hand, he experience a learning curve and made mistakes that he surely wishes he could have back, and looking at other quarterbacks on the ranking, it would be hard to justify giving him a higher spot. Here’s a sample of the kind of plays Lawrence can make.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is poised to make a huge leap in 2022

It looks like things are lining up for Trevor Lawrence after a disastrous 2021 season. The Jaguars’ brass got him a head coach that has a knack for getting the most out of his quarterbacks. Moreover, they spent the offseason building around him, giving him better weapons and better protection upfront. While Jacksonville’s group of skilled-position players is far from top tier, there are plenty of enticing pieces.

Looking back, Urban Meyer shouldn’t have Lawrence and Gardner Minshew split reps in training camp last year, as the former could have benefitted from every extra opportunity. Pederson won’t make the same mistake and Lawrence has been the unquestionable starter during Organized Team Activities (OTAs). Similarly, he underwent shoulder injury last offseason and had to devote time to rehab. This year though, he doesn’t have to worry about that and instead is working on improving his craft.

Adam Schein of NFL Media believes everyone should hop on Lawrence’s bandwagon ahead of the 2022 season and general manager Trent Baalke has seen him improve, so it may be a bit too premature to ‘crown’ him but he’s certainly trending in the right direction.

The Jaguars can’t waste another year of Lawrence’s career, and it’s encouraging to see them put him in a position to succeed. If everything goes according to the plan, it won’t be long before he’s discussed as one of the best quarterbacks not only in the AFC but the whole league.

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