Trevor Lawrence

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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Trevor Lawrence To Undergo Surgery

Trevor Lawrence will throw for teams much earlier than his draft-eligible quarterback peers. Instead of throwing at Clemson’s pro day in March, Lawrence will do so Feb. 12 before undergoing surgery, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The widely expected No. 1 overall pick plans to undergo a procedure on his left shoulder labrum, according to Schefter. Lawrence appears set to spend his first NFL offseason recovering but is expected to be ready for training camp, where he will likely be on track to start for the Jaguars.

Doctors discovered this injury recently, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Lawrence will undergo the procedure this month in order to be in better position to return by training camp, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

This news obviously should not be expected to affect Lawrence’s status atop the draft. The surgery will be on three-year Clemson starter’s non-throwing shoulder, and the Jaguars are amid a rebuild. But this sudden development will begin the QB prodigy’s NFL career in less-than-ideal fashion.

Roger Goodell said Thursday he expects most of the elements from last year’s virtual offseason to return, so it is certainly possible Lawrence would not miss any onsite activities while he recovers from this surgery. The first in-person work for teams in 2021 may well be training camp, as opposed to the pre-pandemic schedule that had rookies at team facilities for rookie camps, OTAs and minicamps. But Lawrence looks likely to spend a good chunk of the league’s second virtual offseason rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder.

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Jaguars’ Shad Khan To Control Roster, No. 1 Pick

The Jaguars’ next GM will have a tremendous opportunity to help rebuild the franchise. However, owner Shad Khan says that he will continue to have final say over the roster, draft, and all personnel matters.

I kept the roster control and…the general manager candidates, I’ve been talking to them, that for the immediate future I’m going to keep the roster control,” Khan said (via Michael Lombardi of The Athletic). “And I want the coach to know that also. What’s evaded the history of the Jags, really, has been a franchise quarterback. We have the ability now to make a choice, and it’s going to define the franchise moving forward.”

Of course, Khan probably won’t have to think too hard about the No. 1 overall pick. The Jaguars are almost certain to select Clemson superstar Trevor Lawrence, who may be the best draft-eligible quarterback since Andrew Luck. Lawrence, to the surprise of no one, officially declared earlier this week.

Khan may keep control, but he’s not expected to be an all-out babysitter of his next GM. So far, their candidate pool includes former Browns general manager Ray Farmer, Saints assistant GM Terry Fontenot, former Giants GM Jerry Reese, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, and former Texans general manager Rick Smith. For the latest on the Jags and other GM-less teams, check out our 2021 NFL GM Search Tracker.

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Trevor Lawrence Declares For 2021 NFL Draft

No surprise here. On Wednesday, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence formally declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. 

I’ll look back at these three years and have the best memories,” Lawrence said (Twitter link). “I really feel like I’m a man now and I’m ready to take on those challenges. Just super excited for life ahead. The best is always yet to come, but I’m grateful for Clemson and I’m going to miss it.

As the projected No. 1 overall pick, Lawrence long seemed ticketed for the Jets. But, with some late-season signs of life, the Jets ceded the league’s cellar to the Jaguars. There are other noteworthy passers in this class — including Ohio State’s Justin Fields — but none compare to Lawrence, who is viewed as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck.

“Looking back on it, I hope my legacy is that I was a great teammate and a great person overall, more than how I played,” Lawrence said. “It’s how I treated people. I want that to be the main thing I’m known for.”

Lawrence threw for 3,153 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions in his final season. And, with 69.2% of his passes completed, he finished as the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, despite losing time to injury. The Jaguars will explore other prospects for the No. 1 overall pick, but it would be a stunner to see them take anyone other than Lawrence.

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Extra Points: 2021 Cap, Glennon, Fields

When the NFL and NFLPA reached an agreement earlier this year to play the 2021 season under unprecedented circumstances, it was settled that the 2021 salary cap would be no lower than $175MM. That still would’ve been a steep drop from the $198.2MM figure for 2020. Fortunately for the players, it looks like the NFLPA could avoid that doomsday scenario and then some, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. A source told Florio that the prospect of stadiums full of fans looking better for 2021 has the league office feeling a little more generous.

Florio writes that the “potential of a return to something normal or close to it” for 2021 could end up having the league keep the cap “in the range” of $195MM, which would mean practically no drop at all. Of course, with the ever-changing nature of COVID-19 and the current environment, there’s still a lot left to be determined. As Florio notes, the league won’t make its final decision until late February or early March, so there’s still plenty of time for things to change. This will be an interesting storyline to monitor as the offseason approaches.

Here’s more from around the league as Week 13 winds down:

  • Mike Glennon and the Jaguars came up just short of a huge upset when they lost in overtime to the Vikings, but he apparently did enough to keep the job for another week. Glennon will start for Jacksonville in Week 14, head coach Doug Marrone said after the game. Glennon moved the ball decently against Minnesota, but turned the ball over three times. That still wasn’t enough for Marrone to turn back to Gardner Minshew. “I think he still gives us the best chance to win as of right now so I’m going to stick with him right now for this week,” Marrone said, per John Oehser of the team’s official site. As you can see, Marrone certainly didn’t commit to him for the rest of the season and it wouldn’t be surprising if Minshew gets the call at any time. The 1-11 Jags have lost 11 in a row, although four of their last five losses have been by four points or fewer. Glennon, Minshew, and sixth-round rookie Jake Luton have all started multiple games in this disastrous campaign.
  • Speaking of the Jags, they are one of several teams likely to be looking for a quarterback in the first-round of this coming April’s draft. It’s looking like an excellent class of passers, with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields clearly at the top. While they’re considered by many to be the top two picks in the draft, Lawrence will be “graded significantly higher” by scouts than Fields, Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com writes. That probably won’t surprise you, but what Pauline said next might. The long-time draft insider writes that Fields will grade higher on teams’ boards than 2020 first overall pick Joe Burrow. The only reason Lawrence will be clearly ahead of Fields is since Lawrence is viewed as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. If Fields is going to be considered a better pro prospect than the highly touted Burrow, getting the second overall pick instead of first might not be that bad for Jacksonville or whoever else.

Latest On Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence

Clemson star Trevor Lawrence says he’s still undecided on whether to enter the 2021 NFL Draft, as ESPN.com’s David M. Hale writes. Meanwhile, NFL executives tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter that they have no doubt about Lawrence’s future plans. 

You have a better chance of winning the Boston Marathon than he does of going back to school,” one source told Schefter.

Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney recently expressed similar sentiments, admitting that he’d “be surprised” if Lawrence, the projected No. 1 pick, returns to campus next year. For his part, Lawrence says he isn’t interested in discussing his plans any further, noting that he wants to enjoy the rest of the year and focus on his return to the field.

Clemson managed to beat Boston College without Lawrence under center but they came up short in Saturday’s thriller against Notre Dame. The good news is that Lawrence is set to return after completing the NCAA’s COVID-19 protocol.

The Jets and Jaguars are keeping a watchful eye on Lawrence, who has been hailed as a generational talent.

I’ve honestly never seen anything like him,” one NFL quarterbacks coach told Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller this week. “You’ve seen guys with a bigger arm, and you’ve seen guys who are faster, but I’ve never seen a prospect who has every trait you need and has them at a high level.”

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Trevor Lawrence Tests Positive For COVID-19

Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). Lawrence, who projects as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, will be out of action for Saturday’s game at Boston College. His availability beyond this week will hinge on his condition and forthcoming tests.

[RELATED: Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle Done For Year]

A two-time starter in national championship games, Lawrence took the reins for the Tigers midway through his freshman season in 2018. The former five-star recruit has been on the No. 1 overall pick radar ever since. Between ’18 and ’19, the 6-foot-6 passer threw an eye-popping 66 touchdown against just 12 interceptions. As a sophomore, Lawrence became a key rushing presence for the ACC power, gaining 563 yards on the ground and scoring nine TDs.

Recently, the QB surprised many by saying that he might consider returning for another season.

My mindset has been that I’m going to move on, but who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen,” Lawrence said Tuesday during his media session. “… We’ll just have to see how things unfold. There’s a lot of factors in that. But honestly, just really playing this year. Putting everything I have into it. Not really focusing on next year whether I leave or stay. Obviously, I have the option to do either one.”

Meanwhile, head coach Dabo Swinney expects to lose his star player to the pros.

I mean, we’ll certainly let him stay if that’s what he wants to do. I’d be surprised if he’s back with the Tigers next year, but who knows?,” Swinney said earlier today, before the news of the positive test (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPN).

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Trevor Lawrence No Longer Certain To Declare For 2021 Draft

The most coveted quarterback prospect since at least Andrew Luck, Trevor Lawrence may be having second thoughts about leaving school early and becoming the 2021 No. 1 overall pick. At least, he wants to now keep his options open.

Lawrence said before the start of his junior season he would leave Clemson after the 2020 slate and enter the 2021 draft. Now? That is not a certainty.

My mindset has been that I’m going to move on, but who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen,” Lawrence said Tuesday during his media session. “… We’ll just have to see how things unfold. There’s a lot of factors in that. But honestly, just really playing this year. Putting everything I have into it. Not really focusing on next year whether I leave or stay. Obviously, I have the option to do either one.”

This will be interpreted as the 6-foot-6 quarterback feeling uneasy about the prospect of playing for the Jets, who are 0-7. The Jets drafted Sam Darnold third overall in 2018 and have seen him regress this season. The franchise did not get it right with Mark Sanchez at No. 5 overall in 2009 either. And a return to school after being expected to declare and go No. 1 to the Jets would not be unprecedented. Peyton Manning returned to Tennessee in 1997, when the Jets held the No. 1 pick. They then traded down and did not draft a first-round quarterback until Chad Pennington in 2000.

However, there are six one-win teams — the Giants, Falcons, Vikings, Jaguars, Texans and Bengals — who have also emerged in the early portion of the #TankforTrevor pursuit. Of those, only the Bengals and Texans boast QB situations that would point to them trading the pick. While the Lawrence race is far from over, it certainly is notable the quarterback has backtracked from being a surefire entrant in the 2021 draft.

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