When the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence first overall last year, the consensus was that he was the most talented quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. However, Chris Simms of Pro Football Talk wasn’t as high on him as other analysts. After watching him warm up in the Hall-of-Fame game, he’s changed his opinion about the former Clemson Tiger.
Simms recently said on social media that his outlook for Lawrence has changed, pointing out that he’s got the physical traits to play quarterback at a high level.
"He’s the kind of QB you’d design in a lab. Got some thickness, but not too thick to affect his mobility. And he has the neck of a middle linebacker. The Takeo Spikes of QB."
Takeo Spikes is a former NFL linebacker, better known for his stints with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills in the 2000s. He earned two Pro Bowl nods and one First-Team All-Pro designation during his 15-year career. One of his distinguishing features was his imposing neck, so when Simms says Lawrence is the Takeo Spikes of linebacker, that’s a compliment. In a later post, Simms notes that the Jaguars quarterback’s throwing motion has improved.
"I’ve spoken about inconsistencies in his throwing motion. He’d throw the same route 7 times 7 different ways. Motion looks SO much better now. Tightened up, doesn’t let his arm get so far behind him. If he threw 100 balls in that 45 min workout, he’ threw 98 strikes."
Simms goes on to say that he’s impressed and feels much better about Lawrence. He then adds that if he keeps throwing the way he did Thursday, “big things are coming in Jacksonville”. Here’s the whole Twitter thread in case you want to take a look at it.
Chris Simms was never down on Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence
Keep in mind that Simms never thought Lawrence was a bad prospect. He simply preferred fellow quarterback Zach Wilson better. It’s hard to tell if Simms still likes Wilson but he said last year that the BYU product could be the next Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes.
On the other hand, Simms said that Lawrence had the chance to be “a new age Peyton Manning” and his ceiling was a top 15 quarterback. Similarly, he noted that he was a safer pick than Wilson coming out of college.
Not only has Lawrence cleaned up his throwing motion but he also has a better supporting cast at his disposal. Under Urban Meyer, the signal-caller lacked appropriate coaching and guidance. That’s no longer the case with Doug Pederson at the helm.