When the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence first overall in 2021, they expected him to provide the stability they had sorely lacked at quarterback for more than a decade (sorry, Blake Bortles). Heading into the 2023 season, it's fair to say that Steezy Trev has done so. However, he's still got room for improvement and needs to rise his game to the next level if the Jags want to become yearly contenders.
During a recent appearance in Sky Sports, head coach Doug Pederson had nothing but praise for Lawrence, calling him the real deal and complimenting his ability to take on coaching.
"He's the real deal. There's room for improvement, obviously room for growth," Pederson said. "He's a sponge on the practice field. He's a great communicator with us as a staff. He wants to be coached. He's everything great leader, you know, and just the guy that we all had anticipated, he was and he is. and so we're just excited for that."
He's still young, got a lot of ball ahead of him. But really good, really good second half of the year, learn. Another one that learned how to win but he comes from a culture of winning in college, high school, and all that. But it's different at this level. He's a big part of that," Pederson said.
Lawrence completed less than 60 percent of his passes and threw more picks than touchdown passes. However, he completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 4,1137 yards for 25 touchdowns with just eight interceptions, a marked increase in production, and Doug Pederson played a huge role in it.
It hasn't been a linear journey for Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence
As Pederson noted, Trevor Lawrence had an illustrious collegiate career. Heck, he was one of the most coveted quarterback prospects since he was in High School. The talent was always there but it was fair to wonder how he would fare with the Jacksonville Jaguars. After all, their only winning season in more than ten years came in 2017 and they had won a combined 12 games in the three years prior to his arrival.
The Jaguars thought Urban Meyer, who had turned Ohio State and Florida into powerhouses, was the right person to oversee Lawrence's development. However, he showed right away that he was poorly equipped for the task, managing to sink the Jaguars even lower than they were before his arrival. The fact that Lawrence had a subpar supporting cast further stymied his growth.
Realizing their mistake, the Jags kicked Meyer to the curb and brought in Doug Pederson, known for his ability to get the most out of his quarterbacks. Under Pederson's tutelage, Lawrence made tremendous progress. That said, there were some doubts about Lawrence being able to turn the corner as recently as last season. Although he got off to a solid start, he also made several mistakes that cost Jacksonville a handful of games.
Not wanting to be in a position of failing the team again, Lawrence, put it all together after the loss to the Denver Broncos. He turned it up several notches and led the Jaguars to a postseason appearance and their first division title in years. Throughout the playoff push, the former Clemson Tiger played at a top-10 level, engineering comeback wins against the Baltimore Ravens, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Dallas Cowboys (with an assist of safety Rayshawn Jenkins).
However, Lawrence left the best for the playoffs. Throwing four interceptions early in the game, he mounted a furious comeback and erase a 27-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30.
Heading into the 2023 season, Trevor Lawrence has established himself as a top-10 quarterback. His exact place is up for debate but if he plays like he's expected, he'll join an exclusive club that includes Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen.