Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence in position to trend back toward NFL royalty

• Trevor Lawrence suffered a dip in production last year. He should have no trouble getting back on track in 2024.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) looks on during an organized team activity Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at EverBank Stadium’s Miller Electric Center in Jacksonville, Fla.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) looks on during an organized team activity Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at EverBank Stadium’s Miller Electric Center in Jacksonville, Fla. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

The 2024 season didn't go the way the Jacksonville Jaguars envisioned. Not only did they miss the playoffs but they also saw Trevor Lawrence take a step back in his development. While the quarterback deserves some of the blame, he didn't get much help from the Jags. That's why the front office got to work in the offseason and made several upgrades across the board. If Lawrence stays healthy, he should have no trouble getting back on track. Eric Edholm of NFL Media thinks he will.

Edholm drew up a list of nine players who'll improve in 2024 and included Lawrence, noting that injuries prevented him from performing to the best of his capabilities.

"The biggest issues, I suspect, were physical ones. Lawrence missed his first NFL start last season in Week 17 following a shoulder injury, but prior to that, he suffered an ankle injury in Week 13. Both appeared to hinder his progress."

Edholm also points out that the former Clemson Tiger has set somewhat of a baseline, as he didn't play nearly as bad as he did in his rookie season.

"Lawrence’s career has been a bit hot and cold to this point, but the good news is that his 2023 backslide didn’t come close to approaching his rookie-year struggles of 2021. It feels like Lawrence has established some baseline level of competency, even if last season came with its challenges."

Unlike other analysts, Edholm acknowledges that the Jags' inability to protect Lawrence also affected his performance. Ultimately, he believes Jacksonville made enough changes in the offseason to help their star quarterback "trend toward the trajectory he was on prior to last season."

Lawrence, the first overall pick in 2021, struggled under Urban Meyer but showed noticeable improvement once head coach Doug Pederson was hired the following year. The Knoxville, Tennesse native finished 2022 strong and even played a huge role in helping the Jaguars come back from a 27-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Chargers in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, Lawrence wasn't able to build off of his hot end to 2022. The team's brass didn't adequately replenish the roster, and injuries exposed their dearth of depth, especially across the offensive line. This led the quarterback to take more chances than he normally would, often with less-than-ideal results.

The Jaguars realized that they didn't help Lawrence nearly enough last year, so they reinforced the offensive line and got a new pair of weapons to his arsenal in Brian Thomas Jr. and Gabe Davis. When you take into account that he's healthy after dealing with injuries through 2023, he's in a position to bounce back next season.

Trevor Lawrence is flying under the radar in 2024

Analysts have vastly overlooked Trevor Lawrence this offseason. While the NFL is about "what have you done lately," he showed in 2022 that he could play at a high level. Granted, he's coming off a somewhat underwhelming season but it's a bit puzzling not to see him in the conversation about the top quarterbacks in the league right now.

Before 2023, you would see Lawrence in the 5-10 range. Currently, he's in the 11-15. Sure, that's still a fine spot, but it feels like he deserves to be in the top 10. As Ryan Michael pointed out, analytics routinely rank Steezy Trev as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Only after he sustained injuries, he suffered a dip in production.

But as underrated as Trevor Lawrence is around the league, the Jacksonville Jaguars know he's the long-term answer at quarterback. They expect him to get back on track in 2024. If he does, his place as a top-5 passer in the NFL should no longer be questioned.

More Jaguars analysis here: