Trevor Lawrence makes PFF's list of top players under 25, also dubbed potential MVP
The Jacksonville Jaguars have started to turn heads after winning the AFC South and making the playoffs last year. Although there are many reasons behind the Jags' sudden rise, Trevor Lawrence has certainly been the biggest one, which is something Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus recently recognized.
Lawrence appeared on PFF's list of top players under 25 ahead of the 2023 NFL season and he was the only signal-caller to make the cut. Sikkema argues that the former Clemson Tiger improved considerably in several key areas after an underwhelming rookie campaign.
"Lawrence struggled during his rookie season earning a 58.3 passing grade. But this past year (with an established NFL head coach), he jumped to a 74.1 passing grade. he finished with 26 big-time throws, 19 turnover-worth plays, and a 77.7% adjusted completion percentage. It was a step in the right direction, one that allowed his arrow to continue pointing up with improvement still possible in all areas."
Lawrence was less than stellar in his first NFL season but many of their miscues were due to the subpar coaching he got from Urban Meyer. The fact that he lacked an adequate supporting cast didn't help matters. But under Doug Pederson's tutelage, Lawrence needed just one year to play the way Jacksonville expected when they drafted him first overall in 2021.
The front office also made sure Lawrence had enough weapons at his disposal, acquiring Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, and Calvin Ridley over the last two years. Similarly, they've done their consistently replenish the offensive line in the same time frame.
In case you needed to be reminded of how talented T-Law is, here's a video of him finding Zay Jones for a touchdown and the subsequent two-point conversion to beat the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12 of the 2021 season.
Potential MVP Trevor Lawrence has helped the Jaguars become relevant again
The Jaguars experienced a drought of talent in the 2010s. It took them a couple of years to fortify the roster and find enough core players but they're now in a position to attain sustained success for years to come. And the most important piece of the puzzle is without a doubt Trevor Lawrence
Without Lawrence, the Jags might have made the playoffs last year. And if not in 2022 maybe next season but having Lawrence ensures they have stability at the most important position in the NFL. In fact, it's not farfetched to think he played an immense role in Jacksonville getting three primetimes next season.
Just recently, a current NFL personnel director confided to Jordan Schultz of theScore that he believes Lawrence is an MVP candidate for the 2023 season! However you look at it, that's some pretty huge praise.
This isn't a particularly hot take and there might be a few other executives around the league that surely share the same sentiment. Lawrence can indeed be a legitimate MVP candidate in 223 if the Jaguars get off to a hot start and managed to beat a few contenders such as the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are no longer underdogs and Trevor Lawrence is a big reason why. Now, all eyes are on them, wondering whether they were a one-year wonder. Based on the moves the front office has made over the last few months and Lawrence's positive learning, it's easy to conclude that's not the case.
Expect Lawrence and the Jags to dominate the AFC South and be a perennial contender for the foreseeable future.