Does Trevor Lawrence have any weaknesses?

Senior NFL Writer Terez Paylor asks NFL Draft Analyst Eric Edholm, and College Football Writer Pete Thamel if Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the likely number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, has any weaknesses. Hear the full conversation on the Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

TEREZ PAYLOR: What I know a lot of our listeners want to know or at least talk about is some 2021 NFL Draft information, and you are two guys that I know can give that to us right now. So let's start with Lawrence very quickly. Like, we know he's going number one in all likelihood, and he'll probably go to the Jets. Pete, Eric, what are the weaknesses here that people are talking about?

ERIC EDHOLM: Yeah, I think the biggest questions that I've heard on him have been kind of the, you know, it's not necessarily that he's an inaccurate passer. It's that sometimes the ball placement could be a little better to maximize the yards after the catch. Remember, they've had that-- that slew of big, long wide receivers who could snare passes outside of their frame. There are times when they-- they had to make-- you know, Tee Higgins had to make a more athletic play than he should have had to make, things like that. It's nitpicking. I mean, it really comes down to things like that.

You know, the playoff games, his accuracy did wane. I think he completed 52% of his passes. It wasn't a slew of drops. It was-- you know, it was mostly him being off-target. But the toughness he showed in those-- those two games, you know, getting absolutely drilled in the pocket, taking a couple of hits outside of it, you know, LSU came after him, it answered a lot of questions, because I don't think he'd been tested in that way. Now, he struggled a little bit last week. I mean, his confidence as a thrower wasn't great, but when you can run for two touchdowns and run the read option better than, you know, half the quarterbacks out there who don't have a third of the arm, I mean, he is-- he special in so many different ways.

PETE THAMEL: I have not heard a ton of concerns about Trevor Lawrence. You would have to go look long and hard to find an NFL evaluator who does not consider him the hands-down best player in this draft. And early on in his career, I remember writing the night that he eviscerated Alabama as a freshman to win the national title, he is going to be the number-one pick in this 2021 draft. Now, that was a long time ago, and one of the weaknesses from Texans scouts watching the game that night that they said was, he only made half-field reads. So, like, there was some development that needed to happen, and I feel very confident right now that that development has happened, and that offense has opened up, and he is now-- you know, you can see him drop back and make multiple reads and be calm, and I really feel like an underrated part is, he has a little bit of wiggle to go off-script, to borrow Terez's term.

And a lot like the Andrew Luck evaluation a decade or so ago, he's "sneaky athletic." Right? Like--

ERIC EDHOLM: [LAUGHS]

PETE THAMEL: I mean, remember that Ohio State game in the semifinal last year? He killed the Buckeyes with his legs. In fact, you can argue he beat the Buckeyes with his legs.

TEREZ PAYLOR: Pete, I don't think he's sneaky athletic. I think, like-- I don't even think you can use the phrase, because, like, he's a big, strong guy who looks fast and runs fast. You can't even use it. Like, he's got it on the tape.

PETE THAMEL: I agree. I agree. He's a guy, when you stand on a sideline before a college game and watch him throw, he's got the broad shoulders. Like when scouts are body-typing him, they're drooling. He really has that physical package that's really impressive. So, no, I'm all in on Trevor Lawrence, which is like-- which is like saying I'm all in on Apple stock. Right? It's like the easiest, like, safest thing to say.

TEREZ PAYLOR: Right.

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