Trevor Lawrence

Ten First-Round Picks Remain Unsigned

This year, NFL teams have been quick to tackle their rookie paperwork. Still, there are a decent number of unsigned draft picks remaining, including ten of this year’s first-rounders: 

In a sense, this is a sign that things are back to normal in football following the pandemic. For example, by June 12th of 2019, 22 first-round picks had put pen to paper, with 222 rookies inked on the whole. However, around this time last year, there were just two first-round picks officially in the fold – Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Panthers defensive lineman Derrick Brown.

Offset language and similar minutia could be holding these ten deals up, but there’s no reason to panic. In all likelihood, these rookie contracts will be squared away before the start of training camp this summer.

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Jaguars To Hold QB Competition

Trevor Lawrence is the Jaguars’ quarterback of the future, but that doesn’t mean he’s their starter of the present. On Wednesday, Jags passing game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer stressed that the team has yet to name its QB1. 

It’s still too early to say how this thing’s going to play out,” Schottenheimer said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco).

Gardner Minshew was the Jaguars’ rookie sensation not too long ago and he’s still on the roster as Lawrence’s expected QB2. At the same time, there’s been months of trade speculation around him. In 2019, Minshew set franchise records in yards (3,271) and touchdowns (21) for rookie QBs. Last year, he flip-flopped with Mike Glennon amidst the Jags’ 15-game losing streak. All in all, he was 1-7 in his starts with 2,259 yards and 16 touchdowns against five interceptions. Needless to say, it was assumed that the No. 1 overall pick would start immediately.

For his part, Lawrence says he’s still getting to know the playbook. So, presumably, he’s okay with competing for his spot alongside Minshew and the rest of the camp QBs, including Tim Tebow.

I want to just master the offense,” Lawrence said. “I want to have complete control, know everything and be comfortable. You can’t really play free and play really well if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s the goal, to master the offense by the time training camp comes around so in training camp we can focus everything forward on being the best team we can come August 14 and then going on into the regular season as well.”

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Jaguars Notes: Lawrence, Chaisson, Tebow

Trevor Lawrence made his way back from offseason shoulder surgery and progressed to working out with his Jaguars teammates during OTAs. The No. 1 overall pick, however, has run into injury trouble on a new front. Lawrence battled left hamstring tightness last week, and after attempting to return to work during the first day of Jacksonville’s minicamp Monday, he aggravated the injury, Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com notes. Urban Meyer said Lawrence will likely sit out team drills Tuesday, and it certainly would not surprise if the franchise’s QB1 is done with seven-on-seven or 11-on-11 activity until training camp. C.J. Beathard and the now-mullet-less Gardner Minshew split the reps in Lawrence’s absence.

Here is the latest out of Jacksonville:

  • K’Lavon Chaisson will miss all of Jacksonville’s minicamp due to a positive COVID-19 test, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The second-year defensive end attended Von Miller‘s annual pass rush summit in Las Vegas over the weekend. The event had coronavirus testing, per Chaisson (on Twitter).
  • The Jags have used a 4-3 defense as their primary look throughout their 26-season history, but new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen will switch to a 3-4 alignment. Meyer confirmed as such Monday, via News4Jax.com’s Jamal St. Cyr. Dating back to their Marcus StroudJohn Henderson D-tackle duo through the “Sacksonville” period, the Jags preferred a 4-3 look. While the distinction means less nowadays, given teams’ sub-package reliance, it is notable the Jags will make this switch.
  • Tim Tebow has bulked up to 255 pounds, up nearly 20 from his quarterback days, and will be attempting to make a rare transition. Washington tight end Logan Thomas, who is 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, provides a reasonable example of a quarterback-to-tight end switch working, DiRocco writes. Thomas, however, first worked out as a tight end in 2016 and said it took him two years to feel comfortable at the position. The former Virginia Tech quarterback made the transition in his mid-20s; Tebow will attempt to do so at 33. Thomas noted blocking will be Tebow’s most difficult task, but the Jags may not have a pure tight end role in mind for the former Heisman winner. The prospect of using him as a wildcat quarterback has surfaced.

Jags Notes: Lawrence, Etienne, Tebow

Let’s round up a few items out of Jacksonville:

  • The expectation remains that Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick of this year’s draft, will be at full strength when training camp opens in a couple of months, as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network observes (Twitter link). In fact, head coach Urban Meyer said Lawrence should be “pretty close to full go” before the end of mandatory minicamp on June 17 (via John Oesher of the team’s official website). Lawrence was on a 30-40 throw “pitch count” during this weekend’s rookie minicamp, and both he and Meyer believe everything is trending in the right direction. Lawrence underwent surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder in February.
  • Lawrence was obviously the headliner of the 2021 draft, but there is also plenty of excitement about the Jaguars’ second first-round choice, RB Travis Etienne (Lawrence’s teammate at Clemson). Etienne is a threat to break off a big play whenever he touches the ball, and his receiving abilities are just as enticing as his rushing prowess. In an effort to continue honing Etienne’s skills as a dynamic dual-threat talent, Meyer said that Etienne took most of his rookie minicamp reps at wide receiver, as Rapoport tweets. The Jags do have 2020 UDFA James Robinson on the roster, and Robinson turned in a terrific rookie campaign both as a runner and as a receiver. Despite Robinson’s presence, it doesn’t sound as if Etienne will be transitioned to a full-time WR. Meyer said he knows what Etienne can do as a rusher and just wants to see if he can also excel when split out wide (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com).
  • The Jags are planning to sign Tim Tebow as a tight end, but according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington (via Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report), not everyone in the building is thrilled with the proposition. The detractors think that the signing does not send the right message to the rest of the team, and that it will not provide the locker room with the “cultural jolt” that Meyer is anticipating. But this is unquestionably Meyer’s club now, and there is an obvious void at TE. Whether Tebow is a legitimate candidate to fill that void remains to be seen.

Jaguars Draft Trevor Lawrence No. 1 Overall

No surprise here. With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jaguars selected Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence

Typically, teams like to manufacture some mystery with the top overall pick. That wasn’t the case here. New head coach Urban Meyer openly professed his love for Lawrence months ago, all but cementing his arrival in Jacksonville.

“I’d have to say that’s the direction we’re going. I’ll leave that up to the owner when we make that decision official. But I’m certainly not stepping out of line that that’s certainly the direction we’re headed,” Meyer said in March. “Trevor checks all the boxes, you know?

The number one common quality of every great player, not just quarterback, is competitive maniac. He’s 34-2. Won a national title as a true freshman. Is a winner. I’ve seen him up close and in person compete. And then character. I see him and I witness with my players, when the guys get drafted high, a lot of people get . . . They have influences in their live. Like, whether it be social media, whether it be other things that really don’t pertain to winning.

Lawrence was predictably brilliant at his pro day, leaving no doubt for Meyer, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and the rest of the Jaguars’ contingent.

In his final season at Clemson, Lawrence threw for 3,153 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. And, with 69.2% of his passes completed, he finished as the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, despite losing time to injury.

Now, it’s on to the Jets, who fell just short in their #TankforTrevor pursuit.

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Jaguars Fielded Calls On No. 1 Pick

Despite being penciled into 2021’s No. 1 overall draft slot for multiple offseasons now, Trevor Lawrence has not hovered at the center of this year’s pre-draft discussions. It is widely assumed he will become a Jaguar next week.

Still, the Jags have received inquiries on the No. 1 pick, GM Trent Baalke said Wednesday. Unsurprisingly, Jacksonville does not plan to trade this valuable selection.

We’ve fielded a couple of calls, but I think we’re going to hold tight,” Baalke said, via James Palmer of NFL.com (on Twitter). “Again that decision is made organizationally and our ownership is involved with that as well.”

[RELATED: No Offers For Jets’ No. 2 Pick]

A 15-game losing streak secured the Jaguars the rights to Lawrence, who is viewed as the best quarterback prospect since at least Andrew Luck nine years ago. Urban Meyer confirmed the team is headed toward a Lawrence pick, and the team has peppered the Clemson-developed prodigy with playbook intel thus far. Meyer also helped Lawrence structure his pro day. This evidently did not stop teams from checking in here.

While the Jaguars could have certainly fetched a staggering trade package for this pick, both they and the Jets are poised to stay at their top slots and draft QBs. Although the Jags have made a stunning 18 top-10 picks in just 26 drafts, this marks the first time they have held the No. 1 overall choice. The intrigue of this year’s draft is not slated to commence until the 49ers pick at No. 3.

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Extra Points: NFLPA, Lawrence, Seahawks

Over half of the league’s teams have now issued statements saying some or all of their players will sit out in-person offseason workouts. While those standoffs continue, we’ve got an adjacent update on the NFL’s COVID-19 policies. The NFLPA told players over the weekend that they’d no longer be subject to discipline for “high-risk COVID conduct,” a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

That includes things like going to bars and large indoor events. There some high profile discipline incidents for high-risk COVID conduct last season, perhaps most notably when Dwayne Haskins was fined and stripped of his captaincy after being photographed mask-less with strippers. As Pelissero points out, this means that the players who do decide to report to team facilities for in-person workouts won’t have to live in quarantine. Pelissero reports the NFL will still maintain the right to hand down discipline for violating protocols inside team facilities.

Here are a couple other notes from around the league on a quiet Sunday night:

  • Not that it’s any secret the Jaguars are taking Trevor Lawrence, but we’ve got some more info on what’s going down behind the scenes. Urban Meyer pretty much publicly acknowledged a couple weeks ago that the team would draft the Clemson passer first overall later this month, and it sounds like the budding relationship is going well. Jacksonville has been sharing elements of their offensive scheme and playbook with Lawrence to see what he can retain, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link). These zoom sessions have apparently been going well, as Lawrence has “impressed them” by “being able to talk like he’s already a member” of the team, Rapoport says.
  • There was a lot of drama surrounding Russell Wilson this offseason, which led to trade rumors, but it sounds like he’s been very engaged in the Seahawks’ offseason plans. Running back Chris Carson signed a two-year deal to stay in Seattle despite interest from a number of other teams, and he recently revealed that Wilson played a big role in recruiting him. “He was definitely in my ear,” Carson said, via John Boyle of the team’s official site. “We talked about it before the season ended that we didn’t want this to be the last year we played with each other. He definitely was in my ear during the offseason.” He also said fellow running back Rashaad Penny played a big role in recruiting him back. Wilson’s efforts here, as well as his recent reassurances to Carlos Dunlap, seem to indicate he isn’t planning on leaving the Seahawks anytime soon.

Urban Meyer: Drafting Trevor Lawrence ‘Certainly The Direction We’re Headed’

Gone are the days of NFL teams with the first overall pick trying to play it particularly coy. It’s been widely assumed for a while now that the Jaguars will be taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence when the 2021 NFL Draft opens, and new Jags coach Urban Meyer more or less confirmed that to Peter King of NBC Sports.

“I’d have to say that’s the direction we’re going. I’ll leave that up to the owner when we make that decision official. But I’m certainly not stepping out of line that that’s certainly the direction we’re headed,” Meyer acknowledged. “Trevor checks all the boxes, you know?” Meyer said before explaining what exactly he loves about the passer regarded as one of the best pro prospects in recent memory.

The number one common quality of every great player, not just quarterback, is competitive maniac. He’s 34-2. Won a national title as a true freshman. Is a winner. I’ve seen him up close and in person compete. And then character. I see him and I witness with my players, when the guys get drafted high, a lot of people get . . . They have influences in their live. Like, whether it be social media, whether it be other things that really don’t pertain to winning,” Meyer said.

“What I’m really pleased with and I don’t want to say surprised, but him, his agent, his family, they’re focused on one thing. He wants to become the best version of himself for the National Football League, which is, well, it is somewhat refreshing.” It sounds like Meyer has spent a lot of time around Lawrence and his family, and is more than comfortable with the coming selection.

Considering we heard in February that Meyer had advised Lawrence on his pro day schedule, this isn’t too surprising. In the full piece, which is worth a read, Meyer explains his decision to jump to the NFL ranks, and said he’s “committed to Jacksonville.” He said he gave a lot of thought to the health issues that have plagued him in the past, and clearly doesn’t think they’ll be an issue with the Jags.

With their coach more or less admitting Lawrence will be the pick, this could potentially speed the process of a Gardner Minshew trade. The Jags just signed C.J. Beathard to be a backup signal-caller, potentially signaling that Minshew might not be long for the roster. Either way, you can pretty much put it in ink that Roger Goodell will be announcing Lawrence to Jacksonville next month.

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Urban Meyer Advised Trevor Lawrence On Pro Day Schedule

Since the Jaguars wrapped up the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, it has been a foregone conclusion that the club will use that selection on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a potentially generational talent. If you wanted even more evidence that Jacksonville will make Lawrence the first player to hear his name called when the draft kicks off on April 29, you have it.

Lawrence underwent surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder yesterday, but in order to show off his abilities before going under the knife, he held an early pro day last Friday. And as John Reid of the Florida Times-Union writes, new Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer was instrumental in bringing that pro day about.

When he heard a little over a week ago that Lawrence would need surgery, Meyer said he had a number of phone calls with his future quarterback. “We did a Zoom call with him, and I asked him – there are three choices you have. No. 1, you can wait until March 11 Pro Day – but now you are getting near August [for a recovery time],” Meyer said. “That’s getting late because it’s a five-month recovery. It’s a six-month injury. The second thing, you can not throw.”

Although Lawrence didn’t really have anything to prove, he didn’t like the second option. He wanted to have a showcase, but he agreed with Meyer that waiting until the March 11 pro day — which would mean putting off his surgery until sometime after March 11 — would push his recovery too far into the summer. So then, as Meyer recounted, “I said why don’t you just grab the ball and go throw for a little bit? I’d like to send our coordinator and passing-game coordinator to watch. They’ve never seen him. I’ve seen him, so he said, ‘Let’s go.'”

Lawrence was predictably brilliant at his pro day, so even if the Jags had any questions about his abilities, they probably don’t now. Along with Meyer, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer were in attendance. Jacksonville is probably still a year or two away from playoff contention, but the expectation is that having Lawrence under center will accelerate the team’s rebuild quite a bit.

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Trevor Lawrence Recovery Timeline To Stretch Into Summer

Feb. 14: Lawrence will undergo left labrum surgery on February 16, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). Well-known surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the operation, and recovery time is estimated to be five to six months. As such, the expectation remains that Lawrence will be ready to go by training camp, or not too long thereafter.

Feb. 12: As expected, Trevor Lawrence did not do anything Friday to remove himself from being the favorite to go No. 1 overall. The three-year Clemson starter went through his early pro day, throwing for teams (including the Jaguars) on campus. He will not be throwing again for a while, however.

Lawrence estimated he will be able to throw again at some point in the next two months but added that it could be four or five months until he receives full clearance for all football activities, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

News emerged last week of Lawrence needing surgery on his left shoulder, and while it would certainly benefit the incoming rookie to be able to throw without restrictions during the spring and early summer, 2021 draftees’ first NFL offseasons are expected to be mostly virtual. Whereas rookie QBs from drafts prior to the 2020s went through rookie minicamps, OTAs and minicamps, this class may not take the field with their respective teams until training camp. By then, Lawrence could be ready to go.

The 6-foot-5 passer weighed in at 213 pounds Friday, but NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah expects the high-end prospect to be closer to 230 by the time he reports to camp. Clemson listed Lawrence at 220 pounds last season. Representatives from 17 teams showed up Friday to observe the 21-year-old prodigy, per ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco, with Urban Meyer, OC Darrell Bevell and passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer leading the Jacksonville contingent.

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