After years of questionable quarterback performances, the Jacksonville Jaguars finally got lucky enough to select a bonafide quarterback prospect in 2021. Of course, that quarterback was Trevor Lawrence, who the Jags took with the No. 1 overall pick after acquiring the league’s worst record (1-15) in 2020.
Unfortunately, the organization made a huge mistake when it came to pairing him with the right coach as a rookie, and 2021 didn’t go as fans were hoping. At the same time, it allowed the rookie to showcase his mental toughness, and he passed that test with flying colors and even was able to have some eye-opening performances.
For the aforementioned reasons, Pro Football Focus named Lawrence to their top-25 players under 25 list this week. Here is what analyst Trevor Sikkema had to say about the second-year quarterback as he was slotted at the No. 21 spot.
Lawrence’s rookie season wasn’t the triumphant year many were hoping for from the No. 1 overall pick, with him tallying 3,600 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. But let’s be real, there’s no chance it was going to be under Urban Meyer and the circus that was the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021. Among all the chaos, Lawrence still showed flashes of that special quarterback ability while navigating the typical NFL learning curve. With Doug Pederson now as his head coach, we’re expecting a huge leap from Lawrence in Year 2.
Lawrence’s struggles have been well documented on the web, but for whatever reasons, the flashes he showed haven’t been. They didn’t go unnoticed by Sikkema, though, who also feels Lawrence can take those positives and build from them alongside a new coach in Doug Pederson.
Pederson’s addition is one that’s being overlooked when it comes to what the Jags added this offseason. He’s an upgrade over Meyer because he has NFL experience as a player, NFL head coaching experience, and has a great understanding of NFL offenses and young quarterbacks.
While the talent around Lawrence is another thing to factor into his success heading forward, there could be enough talent around him to take a Year 2 leap. Some candidates who could be solid contributors for him include Travis Etienne, James Robinson (depending on his recovery), Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, Dan Arnold, and Jamal Agnew, to name a few. Sure, those aren’t household names, but Pederson has been in this same position before, as his 2017 Philadelphia Eagles team didn’t have a lot of notable skill players at the time outside of Zach Ertz.