Any doubt about the Jaguars’ draft plans seems to have been extinguished
If there was any lingering doubt about the Jaguars’ plans with the No. 1 overall pick, they apparently were extinguished on Sunday, 11 days before the start of the 2021 NFL Draft. Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the consensus No. 1 pick, thanked Jaguars fans for their early support via social media, and also said he and his wife would give $20,000 to Jacksonville charities.
In the message, Lawrence also alluded to starting his NFL career with the Jaguars, who’ll have Urban Meyer as their first-year head coach. Meyer himself admitted that the Jaguars were heading in the direction of selecting Lawrence during an interview with NBC Sports Peter King late last month.
“Thank you Jaguars fans,” Lawrence wrote via Twitter. “We really appreciate the wedding gifts and donations for charities of our choice! In addition to the donations, Marissa and I will also be donating $20K to charities in Jacksonville. Thanks again, we hope to be a part of your community soon.”
The 6-6, 220-pound Lawrence is the highest-ranked player in the NFL draft in CBS Sports prospect rankings. A 2018 national champion, Lawrence scored 108 total touchdowns in three years with the Tigers. Along with compiling gaudy statistics, Lawrence won over 94% of his starts at Clemson, a statistic that Meyer — a three-time national champion coach in college — clearly values.
“Trevor checks all the boxes, you know?” Meyer said of Lawrence. “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 lives.
“Like, whether it be social media, whether it be other things that really don’t pertain to winning. 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.”
Lawrence sits atop a talented quarterback class that also includes BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Trevor Lawrence, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, and Alabama’s Mac Jones. Wilson is expected to be snatched up by the Jets with the No. 2 overall pick. The 49ers are expected to select either Fields or Jones with the third overall pick. Lance may go to the highest bidder if he is on the board when the Falcons are on the clock with the No. 4 overall pick. Among the teams that may try to trade up into the No. 4 pick include the Panthers and Broncos, who currently hold the No. 8 and No. 9 overall picks, respectively.
While Wilson, Fields, Jones and Lance could end up in a variety of places, it seems all but certain that Lawrence will be putting on a Jaguars cap on April 29. Lawrence will likely headline a large Jaguars draft class, as Jacksonville currently holds 10 picks in the upcoming draft. And while Meyer won’t be taking a former Buckeye (Fields) with the No. 1 pick, CBS Sports Tyler Sullivan recently tabbed Meyer taking former Ohio State running back Trey Sermon with the 106th overall pick. Lawrence watched Sermon rumble for 254 all-purpose yards in the Buckeyes win over Clemson in this year’s Sugar Bowl.
“Undrafted back James Robinson was one of the best finds of the 2020 season, but the Jacksonville brass has been forthright in its desire to add even more talent to that area of the roster this offseason,” Sullivan wrote. “With Sermon, the team is getting a back who has averaged more than 7 yards per touch over the past two seasons and has the frame of an NFL back. He was a bit inconsistent in college but dominated against Clemson in the playoffs last year. If he can carry that postseason play into the pros, this is quite the backfield the Jags are putting together.”