Trevor Lawrence lands in top tier of PFF QB prospects ranking
The Jacksonville Jaguars have made several important acquisitions over the last two years but none is arguably more important than Trevor Lawrence, who's brought up the kind of stability they had often lacked at the quarterback position throughout franchise history. Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus recently highlighted how talented the former Clemson Tiger was coming out of college.
Sikkema ranked the top quarterback prospects since 2020 and placed Lawrence and Joe Burrow in the top tier. He notes that Lawrence's college numbers weren't as good as Burrow's but had a higher ceiling.
"Tier 1 was pretty easy. After Burrow's record-setting 2019 college football season, no one was touching him on the PFF big board that year. His confidence control during that campaign was truly among the best we've ever seen, as evidenced by his 94.5 passing grade, 40 big-time throws, and 81.9% adjusted completion percentage. Lawrence's numbers weren't as good, but, to some, his physical traits gave him an even higher ceiling. "
Bryce Young (Alabama, 2023), Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama, 2020), Justin Fields (Ohio State, 2021), and C.J. Stroud (Ohio State, 2023) popped up in Tier 2. Meanwhile, Zach Wilson (BYU, 2021), Willi Levis (Kentucky, 2023), Anthony Richardson (Florida, 2023), Trey Lance (North Dakota State, 2021), Mac Jones (Alabama, 2021), Justin Herbert (Oregon, 2020) landed on Tier 3.
Lawrence had an underwhelming rookie campaign but made a huge leap last season. Having the mentorship of head coach Doug Pederson was of huge help and so were all the additions the front office made in free agency last year.
Even though Lawrence had a rough stretch at the midpoint of the 2022 season, he put it all together in the second half and was among the top quarterbacks in the league, ranking in the top 10 of the position.
Trevor Lawrence is poised to get better for the Jacksonville Jaguar in Year 3
Trevor Lawrence was the top quarterback prospect to come out of college since Andrew Luck in 2012, so it wasn't particularly surprising to see him play at a high level last year. The mere decision to kick Urban Meyer to the curb after not having a concise plan to develop him in 2021 was going to make him better by default. The question was how much better Lawrence was going to get under Pederson.
Like any other quarterback, Lawrence didn't have a linear development. He threw costly interceptions in losses to the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos but he also lead comeback efforts against the Dallas Cowboys, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Los Angeles Chargers in the postseason. Of course, winning those games required a team effort but Lawrence played a huge role in all of them.
Lawrence got himself acclimated to Pederson's offense last season and managed to put up solid numbers. He should be even better in 2023 with an even better grasp of the system. Moreover, tight end Evan Engram isn't going anywhere (at least for one more year) after getting the franchise tag. Similarly, Calvin Ridley will round out a wide receiver corps that already includes Christian Kirk and Zay Jones.
There are a few quarterbacks in the NFL that are better than Trevor Lawrence but you would be hard-pressed to find a team that would have passed on the chance to draft him in 2021. The Jacksonville Jaguars knew they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and didn't hesitate to use the first overall pick on him that year.