Jaguars have best QB from the 2021 NFL draft class in Trevor Lawrence

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

There’s an element of randomness when it comes to identifying talent in the NFL Draft and prospects that get slapped with the ‘cant-miss’ label sometimes end up not panning out in the pros. Having said that, the Jacksonville Jaguars knew they couldn’t pass up the chance to take Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in 2021.

Lawrence was not only regarded as the best quarterback prospect of the 2021 draft class but the most talented one since Andrew Luck in 2012. Although it took him a while to find his footing in the NFL, you will be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t think he’s outplayed every other sophomore signal-caller in the league.

Aryanna Prasad of FanSided argues that Mac Jones is the best quarterback to come out of the 2021 draft by virtue of making the playoffs and earning a Pro Bowl selection in his first year as a rookie. And she’s right, the Alabama product had a fine first year, completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

On the other hand, the New England Patriots were one-and-done in the playoffs last year, losing 47-17 to the Buffalo Bills. Jones wasn’t particularly completing 63.16 percent of his passes for 232 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. While he wasn’t the sole reason the Pats fell to the Bills, he certainly didn’t help them win.

So how has Mac fared this season? At 69.2 percent, his completion rate has improved but he’s amassed just six touchdowns with seven interceptions. That’s not the kind of production that you would expect in a quarterback’s second season, especially one that showed promise in his rookie campaign.

Meanwhile, Trevor Lawrence is coming off what’s arguably his best game as a pro, a 28-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12. His 78.38 percent completion rate and his three touchdowns are by themselves impressive but the game-winning drive he led is without a doubt the most impressive moment of his young NFL career.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence fares better than Mac Jones in rankings

Jones is a fine player but he’s stalled while Lawrence keeps steadily improving in Year 2. In fact, you will find the latter in the top 15 of most quarterback rankings and the former in the 20s.

Steve Ruiz of The Ringer placed Lawrence at No. 10 in his ranking and points out that the second-year quarterback has improved in key areas such as his release time, and decision-making accuracy. On the other hand, Ruiz gave Jones the 26th spot and argues that he’s got the accuracy to thrive in the NFL but will only become a top-10 quarterback if he improves his physical skill set.

Marc Sessler of NFL Media also put together a quarterback ranking and it isn’t very different from Ruiz’s. While Lawrence came up at No. 14, he still got a higher spot than Jones, who landed at No. 24. Here’s what Sessler had to say about Lawrence.

"Lawrence is blooming before our eyes. Sunday saw Jacksonville’s second-year starter take flight in the fourth quarter to hit 15 of his 19 passes for 173 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and a game-sealing two-point conversion in a stunner over Baltimore."

Sure, Jones had the better rookie campaign but Lawrence is currently the better of the two, playoff berth or not. Can Jones catch up with Jones? Most definitely but Lawrence is widening the gap and is making it tough. All things considered, the Jaguars should be thankful to the New York Jets for gifting them the No. 1 overall pick thrilled the New York Jets gifted them the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft.

Trending. Winning drive vs. Ravens signals Trevor Lawrence's arrival. light