Thursday, February 22, 2024

Do the Jaguars have a Trevor Lawrence problem?

Trevor Lawrence has been the NFL’s golden boy since he was in high school. With the prototypical physique and unnatural physical abilities, Lawrence was the guaranteed number one pick and the ‘most NFL-ready QB’.

Now, 25-games into his NFL career Lawrence is 5-20 and still seems unable to make some of the most basic throws a quarterback needs to make.

Trevor Lawrence didn’t have an easy rookie campaign

One of the major issues with evaluating Trevor Lawrence is the Jacksonville Jaguars. A team that seems to regularly flirt with becoming the ‘London franchise’ and a home fanbase that rarely shows up, Lawrence was supposed to change all of that.

Unfortunately for him, and the Jaguars, the top-brass appointed former college guru Urban Meyer as head coach. When he wasn’t staying after road games to visit strippers, or kicking his players in the leg, Meyer was even more dysfunctional.

With his head coach sacked after just 13-games, Meyer effectively derailed Lawrences rookie campaign. With 12 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions it wasn’t the worst rookie outing ever, but it wasn’t what was expected of the golden child.

In year two, Trevor Lawrence would be surrounded by adults the Jaguars decided and in came Doug Pederson as HC, a Super Bowl winning coach that would teach Lawrence how to play the position correctly.

Trevor Lawrence: Year Two

But the thing is, things aren’t going that much better. The Jags are 2-6, and whilst Lawrence has turned around his TD:INT situation with 10 touchdowns to 6 interceptions and improved his completion percentage by 2.9% some of his key metrics have actually got worse.

Per PFF his big time throw percentage is down from 3.4% to 3.1% while his turnover worthy play percentage has actually gone up from 3.7% to 3.8%. So is his improved TD:INT actually just the luck of teams not taking the turnovers?

In fact PFF grade Trevor Lawrence as the 33rd best QB in 2022 out of 39 qualifying QB’s. So there’s very little to be excited about if you’re a Jags fan.

He is, amazingly, still grading as the second best QB from the 2021, with only Davis Mills (69.3) grading higher than his 54.5.

There can be no doubt that that the Jaguars also have given him very little in the way of weapons. Travis Etienne is arguably their only top-tier offensive player, and as a RB doesn’t offer quite the upside of an elite WR to a developing QB.

Trevor Lawrence ranks 11th in on target % (per SIS charting) which highlights just how little support he is getting from his receivers. SIS also rate him as the 12th best QB for Total Points Earned. So there are definitely bright spots in his work.

Lawrence still has the pedigree, and the arm, to make a splash in the NFL. His much hyped college career will surely see him get an extended run with the Jaguars. He must develop touch on his passes rather than drilling even 5-yard passes into the flat.

The Jaguars need to give Trevor Lawrence and Doug Pederson time to develop
The Jaguars need to give Trevor Lawrence and Doug Pederson time to develop

At times he trusts his arm a little too much, especially given his supporting cast. But as Pederson looks to work his magic with his new QB, the key will be surrounding him with weapons and giving both QB and coach time to develop together.

In the NFL, time is often not given to QB’s to develop anymore, and that is something Trevor Lawrence will be painfully aware of. This is one decision the Jaguars can not afford to get wrong. If they stick with Lawrence in the long run this team could have a very bright future.

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