The Jacksonville Jaguars are ready to forget last year’s 1-15 record and are looking forward to starting a new era with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback.
For close to two decades, the team has been searching for a franchise quarterback reminiscent of one like Mark Brunell.
Now with new head coach Urban Meyer calling the shots, Jacksonville believes their first overall pick Lawrence is the answer.
Firstly, standing six feet, six inches tall, and weighing 213 pounds, the Clemson alum has the physical size to compete in the NFL.
Secondly, Lawrence arrives with impressive credentials; national championship winner, third-best winning percentage in college football history, and Heisman Trophy finalist.
Finally, it is clear the winningest quarterback in Clemson’s history holds football close to his heart, which cannot be coached.
In a recent statement, Lawrence expressed his love for the game, desire to be the best, and drive to win.
It seems as if people are misreading my sentiment.
I am internally motivated – I love football as much or more than anyone. It is a HUGE priority in my life, obviously. I am driven to be the best I can be, and to maximize my potential. And to WIN. (1/3)
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) April 17, 2021
As a result, general manager Trent Baalke, owner Shahid Kahn, and Meyer believe their future is secure with Lawrence.
With unlimited capability and talent compared to John Elway, the following are three things to expect from the rookie in 2021.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 10, 2021
3. Start at Quarterback for the 2021 Season
This is a no-brainer, barring any unforeseen injuries.
Jacksonville’s quarterbacks recorded the fifth-worst completion percentage (62.8) and the fifth-highest total number of interceptions thrown in the league last season.
Baalke, Khan, and the team’s top brass will not allow the Jaguars to repeat such a performance again in 2021.
Since Jacksonville hit the lottery by drafting Lawrence, coach Meyer is also ready to send his new quarterback out for a spin.
The consensus around the league is to start the first-year quarterback from Cartersville, Georgia.
I asked Trevor Lawrence if he expects to start Week 1. After a long pause, he said more or less without exactly saying it that he’s coming to start Week 1. Love it.
"I expect to perform well and adjust quickly and to be ready to go. I expect a lot out of myself." pic.twitter.com/cqa7MIJVdj
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) April 30, 2021
“You know [Trevor Lawrence] is going to start, he’s going to get the most opportunities to throw the ball of any of those guys, and they’re betting on him being great.” 🐆 — @RJ_Young
Who’s taking home the 2021 ROY Award? 🏆👀 pic.twitter.com/P5ZjKJ5Sfu
— Maybe I'm Crazy with Joy Taylor (@maybeimcrazypod) May 6, 2021
“The good thing is that he’s going to get in there and he’s going to play early on. And I think, you know, they’re committed to him and I think that’s good for a young quarterback. To get in there and learn on the run a little bit. You’re going to make mistakes. But until you get that true, game experience, it’s hard to learn just from practice. It’s hard to learn from watching someone else and I had to deal with that with Kurt Warner. You think you’re prepared. You think you’re learning until you hit that live action and you’re like ‘wow.’ There’s a lot going on here.”
Manning also sees much upside to Lawrence’s first year, adding:
“I think with Trevor he’s got so much talent. And with coach Meyer, he’s got a great history of, you know, winning games and building great teams. I think, you know, he has a chance of success in his first year.”
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) May 1, 2021
2. Finish Top 10 in Total Passing Yards with More than 20 Touchdowns
Since high school, Lawrence strived to give 100 percent on the field and to be the best player he can be.
In an interview with Peter King on NBC Sports, the Clemson grad expressed his desire to give his all, stating:
“Really, it’s just for me, maximizing who I am and my potential and that’s all I’m trying to do. Hopefully that’s good enough to be the best ever to do it… But, for me, that’s my focus. It’s internal and that’s what I want to do. Is just be my best.”
So, determined to excel, it is not unreasonable for Lawrence to finish top 10 in total passing yards (+4,000).
Another attainable goal for him in the upcoming rookie season is passing for more than 20 touchdowns.
Both of these benchmarks are possible for Lawrence with the caveat that Jacksonville can keep him healthy for 17 games.
1. End the 2021 Season with a Winning Record
The 21-year-old quarterback finished his amateur football career undefeated in regular season play and wants to continue the streak.
Although going undefeated in 2021 is not realistic, it is possible Lawrence finishes his rookie season with at least nine wins.
Firstly, the Jaguars’ 2021 strength of schedule is easier than half of the other teams in the league.
2021 NFL strength of schedule based on current rosters.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) May 4, 2021
Thus, he starts off with a good chance of winning at least 50 percent of the games this upcoming season.
Secondly, Lawrence enters his first year in the NFL with the same mentality he’s had for the past seven years; win.
Speaking at a recent after-practice press conference, he related:
“All the staff, and management, and everyone here brought me here to win. That’s the main goal. So, I’m keeping the same mindset. Obviously, there’s different challenges as you move on to the next level. Things change a little bit. You got to adapt. But, that mindset never changes. You’re always expecting to win and you prepare to win. So, I think that’s why they brought me here. They didn’t bring me here to expect to lose and I know we have a lot of guys here that are ready to win and want to win. So, we’re on the right track, for sure.”
"The mindset never changes, you're always expecting to win … they didn't bring me here to expect to lose."
New city, new level, new team, but the same expectations for Trevor Lawrence. #Jaguars
— Marc Whiteman (@MarcWYFFNews4) May 17, 2021
Jacksonville has had only one winning season in the past 13 years, dating back to when Lawrence was just nine years old.
With a new head coach and the return of the teal jerseys this season, 2021 marks the start of Trevor Lawrence’s era in Jacksonville.