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Is Trevor Lawrence actually bad? (Prospect Revisited)

Trevor Lawrence

As Urban Meyer’s Jacksonville Jaguars sulk in a paltry 2 win season, questions are beginning to emerge about the “Can’t Miss” prospect of QB Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence was exalted as the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck and a surefire NFL stud. I even wrote about how he is “The Greatest QB I Ever Scouted”. Let’s review his scouting profile and why he hasn’t elevated the Jaguars offense to another level yet.

 

History

Lawrence was an elite recruit coming out of high school. The 2nd highest rated QB since 2000 behind only Vince Young, Lawrence was actually the 6th highest ranked recruit ever. He went into college with a ton of hype, but was forced to share time with Senior Kelly Bryant.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney benched Bryant (who then left the program) after Lawrence outplayed him against Texas A&M. The rest was history with a National Title and multiple ACC championships under Lawrence’s belt, he was destined to be a future #1 Overall pick in the NFL Draft.

 

Trevor Lawrence Scouting Report

You can see my article for the full scouting breakdown on Lawrence, but he seemed to have it all. Manipulating the defense with his eyes, great arm and accuracy, as well as some rushing ability.

He checks the boxes for NFL scouts though he may have had his worst season in his final year at Clemson, all that potential had been there. Lawrence could put the ball all over the field. He could hit deep throws and was accurate on short scripted ones. Reading the defense pre-snap was his speciality to adjust the play and be productive. 

So why isn’t it working as a rookie.

 

What Went Wrong

Lawrence is not playing well. There is no making excuses for it. Missing easy lay-up throws that were guaranteed in college. So, what is happening?

The largest and most egregious error has been how limited Lawrence is in his independence. Clemson’s offense was full of pre-snap adjustments, WR option routes, and a comfortability for Lawrence to audible or check out of plays as needed. The Jaguars offense seems to have none of that. 

It has been a rarity for any type of audible to be called by Lawrence pre-snap, even when he seems to read that the play is simply not going to work. Running into massive fronts or not adjusting routes to the coverage seems to happen often. Lawrence just doesn’t seem to have control before the snap.

More evidence of this has been scripted plays where he isn’t even given reads. It is strange for a QB who can manipulate the defense that he is forced to throw a ton of short passes and motion plays with little chance to adjust and take what the defensive look is giving. 

Simply put, the Jaguars aren’t allowing him to play to his strengths.

With all of this being said, Lawrence still is missing passes (though he has lost a plethora of weapons resulting in some of the worst in the league catching the football). Maybe it is timing, or maybe he hasn’t adjusted to the speed of the game or the offense is handcuffing him, but it is concerning. There has to be massive improvement in Year 2 or Lawrence could go on the pile as “what could have been”.

 

Follow Shane on twitter @ShanePHallam and see the rest of his work here

  

 

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