NFL analyst makes a shocking suggestion for Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence

• Should the Jaguars temper expectations with Trevor Lawrence? A trusted NFL thinks they should.
Dec 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports / Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence. While he's coming off a somewhat underwhelming campaign, he'll play a huge role in the Jags' attempt to reclaim the AFC South. In fact, he could be the X-Factor in the division race but analyst Greg Cosell suggests the Jags temper expectations.

Cosell made an appearance on the Ross Tucker podcast and argued that Lawrence is a good quarterback but far from elite.

"A couple of weeks ago, I did a deep dive into Trevor Lawrence, and he struggled a bit last year," Cosell said. "I think we have to sort of decrease the expectations for what Lawrence is. Lawrence won the national championship as a freshman. And then, he got the moniker of generational quarterback, but again, everything I say is based on studying film. He's not really at that level, talent-wise."

Cosell went to share what he saw on film, noting that there are a few things holding Lawrence back.

"He has a good arm but he's not a power arm guy. His deep balls at times lose energy on the back end. When he has to move in the pocket and reset his platform, his arm strength declines. There are times he can drive the ball with velocity, but for the most part, he's more of a touch-and-pace thrower. And I think he showed a tendency last year. Again, he has to work through this to play a little fast from the pocket when he perceives and feels pressure."

Cosell continued, "He just sped up his process, and he's got to get better at that. So I just don't know if overall talent, he's at the level of the top guys. He's a guy that needs a pretty complete offense, a multi-dimensional scheme, and a good defense. He's in the top tier of kind of the — for lack of a better word — system quarterbacks."

Lawrence is coming off a good-not-great season but much more was expected from him. After playing like a top-10 quarterback to end 2022, he kind of took a step back last year. His touchdown totals went down while his number of takeaways went up. Here's Cosell's full breakdown in case you want to give it a look. It starts at the 13:35 mark.

One key reason behind Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence's regression

For the sake of clarity, Cosell is one of the best in the business when it comes to breaking down film. He's not the kind of analyst who will toss a reactionary take for the sake of engagement, and his evaluation of Lawrence is backed up with hours of grinding tape. Thus, his opinion shouldn't be outright disregarded. That said, context is necessary, and Cosell missed a key factor in his assessment.

Lawrence was pressured at an alarming rate last year. While his quick release helped mask the offensive line's deficiencies, he struggled in dropbacks between 2.5 and 4.0 seconds. It's fair to conclude that his fundamentals suffer because of the subpar protection he got.

You will be hard-pressed to find a quarterback who will thrive under that kind of pressure. Sure, Lawrence is a generational talent but there's only such even the best passers can do when they lack ideal protection. It's also worth noting that the former Clemson Tiger played hurt through most of the second half of the season, and that hindered his overall performance.

But as underwhelming as Lawrence was in 2023, he routinely gave the Jacksonville Jaguars a fighting chance. With a much better-supporting cast and a clean bill of health, he will have a realistic chance to reclaim his spot as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Similarly, he'll be a prime opportunity to disregard the game-manager label he's recently gotten.

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