Heading into each NFL Draft season, there seems to always be some lingering questions regarding who the No. 1 overall pick will be. The mock drafts are constantly cycling options in an attempt to prognosticate what will happen at the top of the Draft.
However, whenever the 2021 NFL Draft has been discussed, there’s never been that question regarding who will go first. It’s been Trevor Lawrence for the past couple of years, and it appears to be Lawrence all the way up until the Jaguars are on the clock. There’s a good reason for that, though, and Lawrence has the chance to be truly special in the NFL.
It’s not every day that true freshman QBs are hoisting the National Championship trophy, but Lawrence put up a fantastic season in 2018 that helped him achieve this prestigious feat. Lawrence is leaving college football as one of the most accomplished and respected QBs to ever suit up, and he has the statistics to back up all the hype.
Over his three seasons at Clemson, Lawrence threw for over 10,000 yards, 90 touchdowns, and only 17 interceptions. He’s essentially universally viewed as the No. 1 overall prospect in this 2021 Draft class, and he seems poised to have a very good and long NFL career. What does he show on tape that causes him to be viewed in such high esteem, though? How valuable can he be for fantasy football?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Trevor Lawrence:
Weight: 220 lbs.
Arms: 34 1/2
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Accuracy (77): Lawrence is one of the highest floor prospects we’ve seen coming out at quarterback in quite a while. He has great accuracy in the short passing game and excels in this area despite being asked to get the ball out at a ridiculous clip. He has a long delivery, which could get him into trouble if he isn’t asked to move around routinely. He’s able to lead receivers well in the intermediate levels of the field and allow them to continue on in stride. The accuracy deep downfield isn’t always what you’d like to see, as he has a tendency to miss his receivers routinely. This could be due to unfamiliarity with a new receiving corps in 2020, but this isn’t his best trait. He’s able to dice and dissect defenses so quickly in the short passing game, but he could struggle if he’s put in a situation that forces him to air it out deep consistently.
Decision-Making (76): The scheme takes care of a lot for Lawrence and gives him his reads pretty easily. If his first read is there, he’s going to stripe it in and let his playmakers work. This can be a detriment sometimes, though, as he can be so focused on hitting that first read that’s already been decided pre-snap that he misses a defender bailing out into the passing lane that he didn’t expect. There’s also a tendency to throw into tight windows or contested situations that might not have been the best place to put the ball, but he does give his receivers a chance to make a play on the ball. Overall though, thrives in taking care of the football and keeping it out of harm’s way.
Mental Processing (76.5): As mentioned before, Lawrence is asked to get the ball out so quickly, it’s difficult to evaluate his true mental processing abilities. If a receiver is open, he’s going to send it to them and not think twice. This is a huge advantage for his projection into the NFL. On plays that he is asked to drop back and read, you can see his head snapping through his progressions. Will operate best, though, on splitting the field at first in the NFL and operating off of levels. After he gets comfortable with that, his coaching staff can start to open up the rest of the playbook. Shows the football IQ to master this sooner than later.
Arm Strength (78): Has the ability to stripe it in sideline to sideline. It’s not always consistent, and there are times where he needs to put a little bit more force behind his throws, but the skillset is there. Excellent at throwing on the run and being able to create torque through rotating his hips. Very fluid and natural thrower on the move. May not have one of the top-10 strongest arms in the NFL when he enters the league, though. Tends to under-throw his receivers downfield, and CFB DBs are constantly able to make a play on the ball. This may be due to unfamiliarity with how his receivers operate downfield, or it could be a lack of elite arm strength. Regardless, it’s more than serviceable in the NFL, and he has enough zip to be able to fit it into tight windows when he wants to.
Pocket Presence (80): Lawrence operates the pocket like a 10-year veteran. His eyes are consistently up, and he is able to sense pressure incredibly well for a prospect. Excels at navigating the pocket and then being able to fire the ball to his receiver on the move. Has a sixth sense about feeling pressure from behind.
Mechanics (78.5): Lawrence is consistently throwing from a solid base and foundation. He rotates through his hips on throws when he’s not facing pressure. However, when he gets pressure in his face, he tends to panic and throw from odd platforms rather than still stepping into his throw and taking the hit. Could become a dangerous habit, and he could begin putting the ball into rough situations.
Improvisation (78): Able to create on his own if the reads aren’t there. Has fantastic athleticism and is able to move out of the pocket and extend plays extremely well.
Poise (78): Great poise when faced with big moments. Able to come through and plays up to the challenge. Tends to struggle in the face of pressure, though, and his feet get jumpy.
Athleticism (81): Tremendous athleticism for a player of his size, and he shows fantastic vision as a runner behind his linemen on QB Power runs. Has the potential to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns at the QB position eventually due to his size and how he can be utilized around the goal line.
What can’t Trevor Lawrence do?
Highest rushing grade among power five QBs over the last two seasons (84.7)????pic.twitter.com/BxJuP797lb
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 10, 2021
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) February 12, 2021
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
This is not difficult to figure out if you’ve followed any part of the NFL Draft discussion. Lawrence is expected to go No. 1 overall, and it’s nearly improbable that doesn’t happen.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
Urban Meyer came out of retirement assumedly to coach Lawrence in Jacksonville. With that in mind, we know the ideal landing spot and who he’ll be throwing to in 2021.
With Lawrence’s skill set, plus his frame and athleticism, it’s actually very difficult to come up with a true comparison. While people want to compare Andrew Luck to Lawrence in terms of the overall impact they could have, there aren’t many 6’6 QBs to come into the NFL that can threaten defenses as a runner the way that Lawrence can. There’s simply no true comparison to be made from a play style standpoint.