Is Trevor Lawrence a Lock for the Number One Pick in the 2021 NFL Draft?


Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers warms up.   Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP
Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers warms up. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Is Trevor Lawrence a lock bet to go first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, or does new Jaguars’ head coach, Urban Meyer, have other ideas?

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the presumptive No.1 pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL draft. It’s an NFL-wide expectation that is supported by multiple online sportsbooks, as Lawrence’s odds of going first overall are trading anywhere between -5000 (1/50) to -8000 (1/80). And yet, Lawrence himself isn’t quite so confident that he is ‘the one’, or so it seems as reports are surfacing that he’s preparing for the draft mindful of all 32 teams rather than just the Jacksonville Jaguars who have the first overall selection in the draft.

Now, this may well be just sign of commendable humility. He is being touted as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck burst onto the scene in 2012 and went first overall in the draft to the Indianapolis Colts; he’s even being served up as a “generational” prospect after putting together one of the most impressive, standout collegiate seasons for the Clemson Tigers in 2020. Not letting all that praise and bonhomie get to his head, he’s showing a maturity and modesty that is becoming of a well-grounded, young athlete that knows nothing is certain, until it is.

But what if it’s more than that? What if Lawrence genuinely doubts his top appeal? Now that former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach, Urban Meyer, has snapped up the coveted job with the Jacksonville Jaguars, which comes with the No.1 selection in the draft, there’s no guarantee Meyer would take Lawrence over another prominent quarterback as his first selection as an NFL head coach.

“This will be, in this organization’s history, one of the biggest decisions made,” said Mayer during his first press conference as the Jaguars head coach almost a fortnight ago.

There’s no overstating how important this decision is both organisationally and individually. Essentially the face of the franchise and the organisation’s future, as well Meyer’s NFL legacy. all rest on this single selection. It’s a pretty big deal….which may or may not fall in line with the NFL odds.

Bet365 Odds NFL Draft 2021

  • Trevor Lawrence -8000 (1/80)
  • Justin Fields +1400 (14/1)
  • Penei Sewell +2200 (22/1)
  • Devonta Smith +8000 (80/1)

It might be an odd pairing between Lawrence and Meyer initially, but that’s nothing that can’t easily be overcome. What might prompt Meyer to look elsewhere though is the events that unfolded at this year’s Sugar Bowl and left Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence thoroughly outplayed, outmuscled and outgunned by his Ohio State counterpart.

As a Fox Sports analyst over the last couple of years, Meyer was one of the few chosen ones allowed to attend this year’s CFP semi-final game on New Year’s Day. In which Lawrence came out on the losing end to Justin Fields – an Ohio State product coached by Meyer’s protégé Ryan Day at the very same program Meyer turned into a national powerhouse before his retirement in 2018 due to health reasons.

Now, there’s no direct connection between Meyer and Fields. Meyer never recruited or coached Fields, and he has had nothing to do with the young quarterback’s progress through the Ohio State program. Heck, he even showed more affinity towards Lawrence, rating him higher than Fields at the start of the season for Fox Sports.

“I’ve been a fan of Trevor Lawrence since Trevor Lawrence became Trevor Lawrence,” said Meyer in his first press conference. “You know me, I look at athletes, players, especially the quarterback position — I love the way he throws the football. I’ve seen a lot of guys throw the ball well who are not very good players or they just don’t win.”

Meyer did add that Lawrence would obviously be reviewed, but he wouldn’t say more than that. Instead, he said they’d be keeping an open mind ahead of the 2021 NFL draft, possibly with a view towards something different.

“Yes, we’re going to watch him throw curl routes, corner routes, post routes, release and launch point, arm slot … all the things you look at. But I’m going to look at something much more different. We’ve been blessed to have some quarterbacks that look different and run different,” said Meyer.

Did Lawrence’s setback against Ohio State take the shine off of his credentials? After all, it wasn’t the first setback in a big game for Lawrence, who also lost to LSU last season in the title game.

Did Fields do enough to grab the attention of Meyer? He’s undoubtedly got upside, and he had a monster game against the Clemson Tigers before losing to Alabama Crimson Tide in the national championship game.

Or is Meyer looking completely elsewhere, such as Heisman Trophy winner, Devonta Smith, for instance. Most recently, Brett Favre has been extolling the wide receiver’s virtues, drawing comparisons with Jerry Rice. He even went on record to say that he thinks the Jaguars should consider Smith seriously for the No.1 NFL pick.

Oh, to have a crystal ball and get a cheeky look-in on NFL draft day…. when the future of all the young football hopefuls will be decided either way. It’s impossible to know what Meyer is thinking or planning to do with the prized NFL pick What we do know loosely is the sequence of events that have led up to this situation. That is, merely a few days after Meyer watched Justin Fields put on a show against the presumptive No.1 draft pick, the Jaguars were officially confirmed to have clinched said first overall pick. And a few more days after that Meyer signed on the dotted line in Jacksonville.

Meyer’s head coaching career at the college level was carefully constructed around teams with a sizeable talent advantage over opponents. That he’d sniffed out an opportunity with a Jaguars team brimming with untapped potential and talent is hardly surprising. Question is whether he sniffed out something else…watch this space…

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