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Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson Tigers
Size: 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds
Age: 21-years-old (10/06/1999)
Per Georgian lore, Trevor Lawrence could throw a tight spiral over 35 yards by age seven. Locals additionally insist that he was already 6-foot-2 before graduating from middle school.
We’re not surprised though, right? Everything — from the top of his flowing mane down to his size-14 cleats — exists in abundance.
And bounty is precisely what Lawrence has brought to Cartersville, GA. A four-year starter for the Purple Hurricanes, the phenom QB recorded 41 consecutive wins, passed for nearly 14,000 yards, managed a 161:21 TD:INT line, and earned CHS two state championships. In doing so, he also put the sleepy town of 20,000 on the map, drawing visits from over 100 college coaches (many of whom downed chili cheeseburgers at the now-famous Capri Restaurant).
THE highest priority recruit coming out of high school, Lawrence eventually committed to Clemson. Upon being named the starter four games into the Tigers’ 2018 season, the true freshman led his squad to an undefeated season. He followed that up with a victory over Alabama in the CFP National Championship game.
And he was only getting started.
Despite an exodus of talent from Clemson In 2019, Lawrence continued to dominate, leading the FBS in passer rating over the back half of the year. He finished up his sophomore effort with a second straight appearance in the National Championship game (though this time Clemson fell to LSU, 25-42).
In 2020, Lawrence bounced back from that sole (but tough) loss, logging the highest completion percentage of his college career (69.2). Passing for 3,153 yards, 24 TDs, and rushing for eight scores, he earned an overall grade of 91.2 from PFF. Named the ACC Player of the Year and finishing second in voting for the Heisman Trophy (behind DeVonta Smith), Lawrence is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.
Pros: Athleticism, arm strength, anticipation.
Cons: A touch of hero ball in big moments.
The Big Picture
If Zeus played college football he’d probably go by the name Trevor Lawrence.
The average height for an NFL QB is 6-foot-3; Lawrence bests that by three inches. That extra height provides the Clemson product with an enhanced view of the field. Often shorter QBs compensate for that lack of vision with their legs. But one of the things that makes Lawrence so special is that he, too, is mobile.
So, he has the height to survey the field, which helps him make well-informed decisions and shows up in his advanced football IQ. He also has the arm strength necessary to sail the ball deep downfield, which makes him a heck of a playmaker. And he’s got a set of wheels that allow him to extend plays and improvise if the play breaks down.
His physical tools are so robust that they allow for his internal clock to mature at a rate unlike anything we’ve seen up to this point.
It makes sense, then, that he occasionally gets knocked for locking in on his first read and forcing throws … because he has the honestly earned confidence and physical acumen to pull off (almost) all the things.
If we’re going to nit-pick, as Yahoo Sports NFL draft expert Eric Edholm mentioned, perhaps more precision in his ball placement could better maximize his receivers’ ability to gain yards after the catch.
The fact remains that Lawrence is the most pro-ready prospect the college ranks have produced in decades. His admittance into the league could firmly mark the next iteration at the game’s most important position.
NFL Comp: N/A — yes, you read that correctly. We've never seen anyone like Lawrence before, and I'm excited to witness the story he writes in the NFL.
Jacksonville has offensive weaponry. Whether it’s the deep threat DJ Chark (2.23 deep targets per game in 2020, WR5), the versatile second-year receiver Laviska Shenault (18 rushing attempts in 2020, WR4), or former Lions vet Marvin Jones, Lawrence has an opportunity to put up numbers. His mobility alone will likely rank inside the top-15 fantasy producers at the position.
The bigger story will be with which of the aforementioned pass-catchers he develops the most chemistry. That’s a drumbeat we’ll need to hone in on over the coming months. I’ll tell you what — right now, the Marvin Jones sleeper piece is already writing itself.
The perennial No. 2 has posted 9 TDs in three of his last four seasons. He’s additionally managed top-30 fantasy stats in each of those outings. I understand the excitement for Shenault and his do-it-all skill-set, but in terms of value … Jones is someone to track.
Engage with Liz on social @LizLoza_FF