Former No. 1 draft pick believes Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence can be great
Trevor Lawrence has made strides in Year 2 but he hasn’t yet proven he’s the long-term at quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Former NFL quarterback NFL Carson Palmer, for one, says that it might be a matter of time before Lawrence shows how great he can be.
Palmer told former NFL quarterback Matt Cassel, now with the 33rd Team, that Lawrence has had a rough start to his career but he believes he’s going to have a great career.
“I think he can be a great player”, Palmer said. “I think he’s gonna have a great long career. It just takes some guys a little to get going. And unfortunately, when you play for a predominantly bad ownership group and a bad organization, like the Jacksonville Jaguars have been for the last couple of decades, it’s just hard to overcome those as a young player”.
“It’s hard to be the leader in that locker room when you know you’ve lost more than you’ve won. You need to get one of those 10-6, 10-7 seasons, a playoff berth, a Pro Bowl berth in order to feel like alright, this is our guy, we’re following him through thick and thin. He hasn’t had that moment yet in his career where he got over the hill or up to the top of the hill”, Palmer said.
Trevor Lawrence has improved but there’s still work to be done
Lawrence has completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 2,075 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions this season. While that’s not a bad stat line, it’s not the one you expect from the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The former Clemson Tiger has definitely shown progress in Year 2 but as Palmer alluded, he still needs to get over the proverbial hill, something B&T’s own Jeff Tice has previously pointed out.
Earning a Pro Bowl selection, making the playoffs, or finishing a season with 10 more wins would certainly help Lawrence strengthen his case as a franchise quarterback. However, reaching any of those milestones this year seems unlikely, as there are other signal-callers in the AFC (Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen) that are playing significantly better and the Jags would need to win seven of their last games to finish 10-7. Here’s the clip of Palmer’s exchange with Cassel.
The Jaguars must keep putting Trevor Lawrence in a position to succeed
As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft, Carson Palmer is qualified to talk about how not playing for the right team can hinder a player’s development. He was good during his tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals but he never truly reached his potential.
At one point Palmer chose retirement over keep playing for Cincy due to the dearth of stability in place, which led to his trade to the Las Vegas (then Oakland) Raiders. He didn’t fare much better with the Silver and Black and it wasn’t until he joined the Arizona Cardinals that he fully flourished and made a Super Bowl appearance.
Similarly, Lawrence’s rookie season was hampered by Urban Meyer’s questionable coaching acumen and a subpar supporting cast. Fortunately, it seems like the Jaguars have recognized that they need to put him in a position to succeed if they want him to be the long-term answer at quarterback, that’s why they hired Doug Pederson to fill the void left by Meyer and have significant upgrades to the offense.
Of course, progress isn’t sudden, the Jags can’t simply wave a magic wand and decree Lawrence is now a franchise quarterback. They will need to keep surrounding him with talent and Pederson will need to continue to work with him. But for the time being, it seems like the former Clemson Tiger is trending in the right direction.
The Jaguars might need to wait until next season to make the playoffs or finish with a winning record. Also, it could take Lawrence one more year to show whether he’s ‘that guy’ or not. Either way, they can’t wait until 2023 to find out. They must keep working and competing in what’s left of the season. Who knows? Maybe then end up turning the corner sooner than anticipated.