There's no doubt Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence made a huge leap in Year 2. The question was how he stacked up against his peers heading into the 2023 season. In the opener, he showed he's one of the best and power rankings reflect that.
Following the end of the 2022 season, Lawrence popped up in the top 10 of most quarterback lists. After the 31-21 win over the Indianapolis Colts, he's cracked the top 5. In the Ringer's power ranking, Steezy Trev got the fifth spot.
"The Jaguars got lots of preseason hype, and Lawrence delivered against the Colts, feeding picture-perfect throws to Calvin Ridley and Zay Jones in key spots. He could easily be the NFL's smoothest pocket passer this side of Burrow."
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports, for his part, placed Lawrence at No. 4, ahead of Justin Herbert and Josh Allen, and just below Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, and Joe Burrow.
Lawrence finished the 2022 season strong, completing 67.8 percent of his passes for 1,779 yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception. He then bounced back from a poor first-half performance to help Jacksonville beat the Los Angeles Chargers in the season opener. In spite of Lawrence's improvement, some analysts wondered if last year was a fluke, pointing out that he had a dreadful rookie season. Similarly, they highlighted his knack for making costly mistakes early in 2022.
Against the Colts, Lawrence put all doubts to rest. He was credited with an interception but it wasn't his fault. He targeted rookie running back Tank Bigsby, who juggled the pass before it landed in the hands of cornerback Tony Brown. Leaving aside the pick, the third-year quarterback completed 75 percent of his throws.
Moreover, Lawrence posted a 154.4 passer rating on downfield throws for a 73 percent completion rate, a huge improvement from his 91 rating and 48 percent rate last year. Meanwhile, Joe Burrow and Josh Allen were less than stellar in Week 1. The former finished with a 45.82 completion rate for 82 yards while the latter threw one touchdown and three interceptions in a loss to the New York Jets.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is getting the spot he deserves in rankings
Critics were right to wait and see if Trevor Lawrence could sustain a high level of play. After all, most of the quarterback rankings in the offseason were put together based on projections. The former Clemson Tiger was expected to keep improving but he needed to prove that he would. After his Week 1 outing, it's hard to imagine he will regress in 2023.
That said, rankings (and the NFL) are fluid. Lawrence could have a down game or maybe Josh Allen and Joe Burrow rebound. The reason Patrick Mahomes is firmly entrenched at the top is that he's delivered for several years. Meanwhile, Lawrence is the new kid on the block. Making the top 5 is an important milestone but he needs to show he can stay there for the remainder of the year. Conversely, he has the talent and the supporting cast to keep moving up and maybe even reach the top 3 by the end of the season.
In his rookie season, Trevor Lawrence flashed every now and then. He become more consistent in 2022. In Year 3, he's taking that consistency to the next level and has solidified his spot as one of the best passers in the league.