The Jacksonville Jaguars know they have a franchise cornerstone in Trevor Lawrence, so they spent the last two years building around him. Given all the weapons the Jags have given their star quarterback, it's hard to picture him regressing next season but that is precisely what Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report thinks could happen in 2023.
Gagnon recently put together a list of nightmare scenarios for each NFL team and says that there's a chance albeit a small one that Lawrence could take a step back next season. Here's what he had to say:
"Jacksonville Jaguars: Any major drop-off in performance from Trevor Lawrence, who is positioned to become a star in 2023 but could confuse the organization and its fans with a sudden dip in Year 3."
Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft, completed less than 60 percent of his passes in his rookie season and threw more interceptions than touchdowns. However, he showed significant improvement under Doug Pederson, who's got a superb track record developing quarterbacks.
With Pederson taking over at head coach, Lawrence threw for more than 4,000 passing yards and scored 25 touchdowns last. Furthermore, he only threw eight picks and six of them were in the first half of the 2022 season.
Even though Lawrence threw four interceptions against the Los Angeles Chargers in Super Wild Card Weekend, he put the team on his shoulders and help them get back from a 27-0 deficit in the second half.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is trending up ahead of the 2023 season
Heading into 2023, Lawrence has solidified his place as one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and depending on whom you ask, he might be even in the top 10. So why does Gagnon think the former Clemson Tiger could regress? He doesn't say but there are many reasons to believe the contrary will happen.
For starters, Lawrence fared well last season even though he was still getting a hold of Pederson's system. Heading into Year 3, he should have a firmer grip, which could lead to an uptick in production. Moreover, the team's brass fortified most position groups in the offseason and did a good job of keeping last year's core in place. Besides letting right tackle Jawaan Taylor and defensive end Arden Key, Jacksonville managed to keep pretty much all their important free agents.
On top of that, the Jags traded for Calvin Ridley last year, giving Lawrence a bonafide No. 1 receiver. With Ridley joining the offense, Kirk can line up in the slot, where he's the most effective, more often. Last but not least, tight end Evan Engram returned. While he got the franchise tag instead of the long-term deal he was looking for, having the former Ole Miss Rebel for at least one more season should give the team some continuity on offense.
The one area that could be a concern in 2023 is the offensive line, with rookie Anton Harris slated to start at right tackle, Walker Little taking over at left tackle, and left guard Ben Bartch still recovering from the knee injury he sustained last year. But if the hog mollies up front hit their stride, Lawrence should enjoy optimal protection more often than not.
Simply, Lawrence hasn't shown any signs he'll regress any time soon. In fact, expect him to help the Jacksonville Jaguars to win many games in 2023 and put them in a position to make a deep playoff run.