How much better can Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence get? CBS Sports expects breakout year

CBS Sports sees Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence as a breakout candidate but how much better can he get?
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) celebrates after his touchdown pass to wide receiver.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) celebrates after his touchdown pass to wide receiver. / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY

Trevor Lawrence played like a top-10 quarterback in the second half of the 2022 season and had a huge role in the Jacksonville Jaguars making the playoffs. Heading into Year 3, Lawrence is expected to keep improving but how much better can he really get? Enough for him to have a breakout season, if you ask Jared Dubin of CBS Sports.

Dubin put together a list of players poised to have a breakout season in 2023 and included Lawrence, noting that playing for Urban Meyer derailed his development and that 2022 was his true football year.

"I know that Lawrence made the Pro Bowl last year. But I'm thinking the step he takes this season is significant. Throw out the year he played under Urban Meyer, which barely counts as a football season, and think of 2022 as his rookie year. Why can't he be this year's version of a Year 2 breakout QB, but in the third year of his career? The addition of Calvin Ridley could take the offense to new heights and help Lawrence cement himself among the game's great passers."

Lawrence's rookie season was derailed by Urban Meyer's questionable judgment. During that tumultuous year, reports surfaced that Meyer and his staff weren't on the same wavelength when it came to the quarterback's development. And that was reflected in his play.

Realizing the Jaguars needed to put Lawrence in a position to succeed, they surrounded him with a wide array of weapons and brought in Doug Pederson to untap his potential. Lawrence responded positively to Pederson's coaching and improved in every single statistical category. On top of that, he put on his play his ability to take over games and led the Jags to several comeback wins.

Now in Year 3, Lawrence is expected to join the upper echelon of quarterbacks and there are reasons to believe he can do so. As Dubin noted, the addition of Calvin Ridley gives the signal-caller a true No. 1 receiver. Also, he should achieve mastery of Pederson's system in his second year under his tutelage.

Where can Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence improve in 2023?

Lawrence completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,113 yards with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions last year. That's a pretty good statline but how much better can it get next season? His completion percentage could get close to 70 percent if the Jaguars can reduce their number of drops — they led the league in that category last year. Also, he'll have a better rapport with his receiver, which can lead to a better completion percentage.

Marvin Jones Jr. was pretty good for the Jaguars but Calvin Ridley is an upgrade. His presence should allow Lawrence to take a few more deep shots next season, so he could see an uptick in his yardage total. It's not out of the realm of possibility for the former Clemson Tiger to finish the 2023 season with 4,500-4,800 yards. Similarly, 30-35 passing touchdowns seem reasonable when you consider how stacked the Jacksonville wide receiver corps is.

But the one area in which Lawrence will show the most growth is in the kind of interceptions he makes. Some are the result of tipped passes and some are simply bad decisions. Lawrence threw six picks in the first half of the season and some of them cost the Jaguars games. He made better decisions the rest of the way and only had two interceptions the rest of the way. If he shows that kind of decision-making early in 2023, the Jaguars' offense should be on a roll.

Trevor Lawrence proved in 2022 that he can keep the Jacksonville Jaguars in games and give them a chance to win. If he keep improving next season, the Jags' offense will be hard to stop.

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