Quarterbacks need to have accuracy and arms strength but they also need to fare well when being pressured. Fortunately for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence showed in 2021 that he can thrive when conditions to throw the ball were less than optimal.
Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus recently discussed the strengths, weaknesses, and X factor for each NFL team and he believes Lawrence’s ability to perform under pressure is their biggest strength. Linsey notes that the former Clemson Tiger was a top 10 quarterback in pressured dropbacks despite the fact that his supporting cast wasn’t particularly great.
"Not any numbers will reflect it, but there were promising takeaways from Trevor Lawrence’s rookie performance in about as bad a situation as he could have been thrown into. One such takeaway was the way that Lawrence avoided sacks when under pressure. He took a sack on just 14 percent of his pressured dropbacks last season, sixth among 32 qualifying quarterbacks. His supporting cast still leaves a lot to be desired, but the Urban Meyer subtraction and Doug Pederson addition as head coach should have a positive impact on Lawrence and this entire offense."
Lawrence’s rookie campaign didn’t probably go the way the Jaguars’ brass expected. There didn’t seem to be a plan in place to develop him and the team lost DJ Chark Jr. and Jamal Agnew to injuries, leaving the offense devoid of playmakers. Nevertheless, the quarterback did what he could with what he had and showed flashes throughout the year. His outing against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18 was the best of the season and a sample of what he’s capable of doing moving forward.
The Jaguars get Trevor Lawrence plenty of help this offseason
You want your quarterback to face the least amount of pressure possible but it’s unrealistic to expect them to have a clean pocket on every single dropback. That’s where you want someone who will remain unfazed and will be able to make plays. Lawrence checks off the box and with a better supporting cast, he should fare even better in 2022.
Renner might not be as high on the Jaguars’ wide receiver corps as others but Lawrence should have more than enough weapons to thrive this upcoming season. Besides signing wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, the team’s brass brought tight end Evan Engram in. The trio will join a group of skill-position players that includes Dan Arnold, Marvin Jones Jr., and Laviska Shenault Jr.
Moreover, there’s a better coaching staff in place, one that will be able to help Lawrence unlock his potential and make a leap in Year 2. Quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy already sees the young passer making better and quicker decisions with the ball. This should in turn lead to more plays and points in 2022.
After failing him last year, the Jaguars are putting Lawrence in a position to succeed. While he might not be ready to become a top 10 quarterback yet, he should make significant strides and help Jacksonville win more games in 2022.