The Jacksonville Jaguars made the playoffs and won the AFC South title last year. However, they seem to be flying under the radar ahead of the regular season. The same is true for Trevor Lawrence, who got a pretty low spot in the top Top players of 2023 despite the fact that he showed last year that he can play like a top-10 quarterback. Jeremy Bergman of NFL Media, for one, believes the Jags and Steezy Trev don't get nearly as much praise as they deserve.
Bergman took a look at the Top 100 players once it concluded and drew up a list of things the voters got wrong. Among them is Lawrence landing at No. 96 despite the fact that he was statistically a better quarterback than both Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Fields.
"The greatest outcry has been over Lawrence's placement, behind an oft-unavailable Tua Tagovailoa (No. 82) and one-dimensional Justin Fields (No. 86). The Jags QB benefits from a strong finish -- in Jacksonville's season and wild-card game -- but suffers from the low-exposure Duval of it all. He won't land this far down again in this decade."
While it was great to see Lawrence make his debut in the illustrious list, Bergman argues that playing for the Jaguars, who had been somewhat irrelevant for years before the 2022 season, might have played a role in getting a slow spot.
It's true that Fields, who just like Lawrence was a first-round pick in the 2021 draft, has shown flashes over the last two years. Also, he rushed for over 1,000 yards, which is nothing to scoff at. On the other hand, Tagovailoa played well early in the season but missed a handful of games in a concussion. And here's the thing, you could argue that both signal-callers have more upside than their Jaguars counterpart (that's debatable) but the Lawrence had the most impact of the three last year.
You could also make the case that Lawrence made several costly mistakes early in the 2022 season. But after the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10, he took his game to the next level, completing 68.83 percent of his passes for 1,567 yards with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
One thing working against Lawrence when discussing his place as a top-10 passer is that he had a less-than-stellar rookie season. While most of it was due to Urban Meyer's incompetence and his subpar supporting cast, the former Clemson Tiger needs to prove that the second half of the 2022 season wasn't a fluke. Based on the work he's put in the offseason, he should be able to pull it off. Besides adding weight to withstand the rigors of the NFL, he's honed his mechanics and fine-tuned the timing with his offensive weapons.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is trending in the right direction ahead of the 2023 season
Early in the offseason, there were a few concerns about Lawrence potentially regressing but he's looked sharp in training camp and is now in a position to build on last year's success.
Having said that, neither Tua nor Fields is a slouch. Simply, they weren't nearly as good as Lawrence last year. And just like Lawrence, they should get more praise and a better spot in the Top 100 ranking if they improve in 2023.
The Jacksonville Jaguars showed in 2022 that they could challenge some of the best teams in the league. Then again, that was last year. Now, they need to prove that they're not a one-year wonder and if they can once again rack up wins, Lawrence will then get the recognition he deserves.