After a rough rookie season, Trevor Lawrence has bounced back and become the face of the franchise for the Jacksonville Jaguars. This shouldn't have come as a surprise though. After all, he was the highest-rated quarterback to come out of college since Andrew Luck. However, an NFL executive believes USC's Caleb Williams is a much better prospect than Lawrence and Joe Burrow.
Lawrence was seen as a No. 1 overall draft pick since he was in high school but a general manager told Matt Miller of ESPN that Williams would've been the top selection in both 2020 and 2021.
""Williams would have been drafted first overall in both 2020 [over Burrow] and 2021 [Lawrence]," another NFL general manager said. "That's no knock on either player -- and they're both really good in the league -- but Williams is a difference-maker. Joe and Trevor are distributors. Great ones. Caleb is a game-changer.""
As far as bold takes go, that's a darn bold one. Make no mistake, Williams is a highly talented prospect who should go first overall whenever he declares for the draft and change the fortunes of whatever club selects him. That said, claiming that he's better than both Lawrence and Burrow may be a bit of a reach. After all, Burrow led the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl in 2021 while Lawrence continues his ascension as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
It's true that general managers know more football than the general population but they're basing their analysis on potential. In defense of whoever spoke to Miller, he isn't alone in his assessment but it's hard to imagine Williams going over Lawrence or even Burrow.
If anything, analysts would be probably split between Lawrence and Williams if they were available in the same draft. The latter could indeed go first overall in 2021 but it wouldn't not be a slam dunk.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has lived up to expectations since being drafted
Trevor Lawrence has proven to be the best quarterback to come out of the 2021 draft. Zach Wilson and Justin Fields still find time to turn the corner but Lawrence has surpassed them by far. This is why the Jags would once again pick him again if they had a do-over. Simply, he's been everything Jacksonville expected and then some.
Even in his rookie year, Lawrence had flashes. And under head coach Doug Pederson, he's taken the next step. On top of that, he's made the Jaguars relevant, something they struggled to accomplish throughout most of the 2010s. Simply put, with Lawrence in the helm, it's hard to see Jacksonville not competing for a playoff berth on a yearly basis.
Caleb Williams will probably have the same impact for the team that ultimately drafts him but that doesn't mean it's a given he would go before Lawrence in the draft. In the end, short of traveling back in time, it's hard to tell who would go first overall if they were in the same class. One thing is certain though, most NFL teams would like to have either quarterback behind center.