Jags’ Trevor Lawrence ranked 21st on PFF’s top-25 under 25 list

Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season was far from perfect but the flashes he made didn’t go unnoticed, which is why he was named to PFF’s top-25 under 25 list.

After years of questionable quarterback performances, the Jacksonville Jaguars finally got lucky enough to select a bonafide quarterback prospect in 2021. Of course, that quarterback was Trevor Lawrence, who the Jags took with the No. 1 overall pick after acquiring the league’s worst record (1-15) in 2020.

Unfortunately, the organization made a huge mistake when it came to pairing him with the right coach as a rookie, and 2021 didn’t go as fans were hoping. At the same time, it allowed the rookie to showcase his mental toughness, and he passed that test with flying colors and even was able to have some eye-opening performances.

For the aforementioned reasons, Pro Football Focus named Lawrence to their top-25 players under 25 list this week. Here is what analyst Trevor Sikkema had to say about the second-year quarterback as he was slotted at the No. 21 spot.

21. QB TREVOR LAWRENCE, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Lawrence’s rookie season wasn’t the triumphant year many were hoping for from the No. 1 overall pick, with him tallying 3,600 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. But let’s be real, there’s no chance it was going to be under Urban Meyer and the circus that was the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021. Among all the chaos, Lawrence still showed flashes of that special quarterback ability while navigating the typical NFL learning curve. With Doug Pederson now as his head coach, we’re expecting a huge leap from Lawrence in Year 2.

Lawrence’s struggles have been well documented on the web, but for whatever reasons, the flashes he showed haven’t been. They didn’t go unnoticed by Sikkema, though, who also feels Lawrence can take those positives and build from them alongside a new coach in Doug Pederson.

Pederson’s addition is one that’s being overlooked when it comes to what the Jags added this offseason. He’s an upgrade over Meyer because he has NFL experience as a player, NFL head coaching experience, and has a great understanding of NFL offenses and young quarterbacks.

While the talent around Lawrence is another thing to factor into his success heading forward, there could be enough talent around him to take a Year 2 leap. Some candidates who could be solid contributors for him include Travis Etienne, James Robinson (depending on his recovery), Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, Dan Arnold, and Jamal Agnew, to name a few. Sure, those aren’t household names, but Pederson has been in this same position before, as his 2017 Philadelphia Eagles team didn’t have a lot of notable skill players at the time outside of Zach Ertz.

Jags QB coach Mike McCoy praises Trevor Lawrence for his approach this offseason

The Jaguars new QB coach, Mike McCoy, has already been impressed with Trevor Lawrence after only two months on the job.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson hired Mike McCoy in February to be the team’s quarterback coach, meaning he’s only been able to work with second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence for about two months. Even in that short period, he said he’s been impressed with Lawrence on a recent episode of the “O-Zone Podcast,” which is hosted by Jags beat writer John Oehser.

“We have a quarterback that can be special,” McCoy said. “He has a lot of work ahead of him. He understands that and we understand that. There’s a reason he was picked as high as he was picked last year and where he went. He has a very bright future.

“I love his attitude and his approach to everything. He has learned from last year. He’s asked great questions in the couple meetings we’ve had so far. It means something to him. He understands his role in the organization. It’s an exciting time for everybody, for our fans and for all of us as coaches.”

It’s a critical year for Lawrence’s development after his struggles last season. He finished his rookie campaign completing only 59.6% of his passes for 3,641 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. However, some of the blame can be pinned on the Urban Meyer debacle.

It’s imperative Pederson and McCoy get Lawrence’s development back on track, so the Jaguars can get out of this stretch of mediocrity that they’ve been in since the 2017 playoff run.

Look: WR DJ Chark works out with QB Trevor Lawrence, is running routes again

DJ Chark Jr. seems to be recovering well from his broken ankle and is now running routes again.

With tackle Cam Robinson being franchise tagged Tuesday, one of the biggest questions remaining is what will the Jacksonville Jaguars decide to do with receiver DJ Chark. If the team can’t come up with a deal with him by March 14 at noon EST, Chark’s agent could begin negotiating with other teams and eventually sign with them on March 16.

Right now, it’s unknown if he will remain a Jaguar, but the team does have the money to do so with almost $40 million available in cap space. However, the odds of him going to another team could be higher now, especially if he wants a change of scenery and is looking to join a franchise that’s been less dysfunctional.

However, there is still hope that the Jags could retain the former Louisiana State Tiger. They have a new coach in Doug Pederson, who already appears to be more respected than former coach Urban Meyer and the Jags also present an opportunity for Chark to grow with a quarterback who has great potential in Trevor Lawrence.

Chark’s first year with the Clemson product was unfortunately cut short after he sustained a broken ankle Week 4 that eventually placed him on the injured reserve. However, after putting in the work in terms of rehab, Chark is now back on the field.

On Tuesday he shared an Instagram story of him taking the field for a workout where he was running routes, and he wasn’t alone as Duval’s favorite blond-haired gunslinger was there, too.

Who knows if this is an indication of Chark’s future, but it’s certainly a sign that could be viewed as a positive one. And if Chark is retained, it appears he’s ready to hit the ground running with Lawrence while learning Pederson’s new system.

Speaking of Pederson, just last week he expressed that he and the staff would like to retain Chark, who he believes could be a key contributor on offense.

“On offense, we mentioned Trevor [Lawrence], but when you take him away, you think about James Robinson, you think about Travis Etienne, you think about even, you know, hopefully, we get DJ Chark back,” Pederson said when speaking on players who stood out to him via 1010XL radio. “You think about some of these younger receivers that we do have and there is some skill and ability there that we are excited as a staff to get going with. 

“We have some work to do, obviously. It’s not there yet and that is why we are here. We are evaluating, and we are going to add some talent, add some depth through free agency and the draft and, you know, that is the process and that is what helps you win.”

The Jags could use Chark’s speed on the outside for Pederson’s new offense, but they need to do it for a reasonable cost. He’s missed a total of 22 games since entering the league in 2018, which makes his contract situation a tricky one.

With free agency set to start next week, this weekend could provide us with an update of where Chark may end up. But based on his recent social media post, it seems that the door at least hasn’t been shut on a potential extension from Jacksonville.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence a long-shot for next year’s MVP

Lawrence’s +8000 odds are the best among second-year quarterbacks.

It was far from an MVP caliber season for Trevor Lawrence during his rookie campaign in Jacksonville. He threw nearly twice as many interceptions (17) as touchdowns (nine) with a completion percentage below 60%.

Lawrence flashed moments of brilliance, but he was held back by scheme issues and poor receiver play (in addition to some mistakes from himself). There’s a lot of hope that he’s poised for a Year 2 jump, but Vegas doesn’t seem very confident.

In the latest futures odds for the 2022 NFL MVP, Lawrence sits at just +8000, per Tipico Sportsbook, giving him the 22nd-best odds among the league’s quarterbacks. However, per these odds, Lawrence has the best chances of any second-year quarterback.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen currently has the best odds to win the MVP award at +500, followed closely by Patrick Mahomes (+600) and Aaron Rodgers (+700).

It will certainly take quite a leap in terms of quality of play from Lawrence to even be in the discussion for MVP in Year 2, but we saw that kind of leap from Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who led his team to the Super Bowl this season. Jacksonville will hope Lawrence can follow a similar trajectory.

New Jags’ OC Press Taylor impressed with Trevor Lawrence’s maturity

Taylor saw Lawrence at his best last season in the win over the Colts in Week 18.

Being the starting quarterback for an NFL team is a pretty stressful job. It can prove overwhelming even for veterans, let alone 22-year-olds.

But that’s the position Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence finds himself in. Despite a disappointing rookie season, expectations are high for Lawrence, largely because of what he did in the team’s season finale against Indianapolis.

He completed 71.9% of his passes (a season-high) while throwing for 223 yards and two touchdowns. In Lawrence’s first multi-touchdown game since Week 1, he and the Jaguars obliterated the Colts’ playoff hopes with a stunning win.

On the opposite sideline for that one was former Indy offensive assistant Press Taylor, who was just hired by Jags coach Doug Pederson to serve as the offensive coordinator in 2022.

In his introductory press conference on Friday, he said that Lawrence’s performance in that game said a lot about the young passer’s maturity.

“You know that’s the kind of the one thing that there’s an opportunity here with the Jaguars where everybody talks about the character that Trevor has,” Taylor said, according to The Florida Times-Union’s John Reid. ”I was fortunate and unfortunate that I was on the opposite sideline the last game of the year with a chance to make the playoffs and Trevor comes like he’s 20-of-25 (completions) in the first half, nine of 11 on third down and kind of lit us up.

”I definitely remember that. At the time, I had a bad taste in my mouth but now on this side of it, I’m like that was very encouraging to see. So I had an opportunity to watch him.”

Lawrence’s play in the finale certainly got the attention of the league, and ending the season that way was surely a big confidence booster for Lawrence after a disastrous season for the team all around.

He still needs more help around him, especially at receiver and along the offensive line, but Taylor seems to like the talent and character of the quarterback he will inherit in his new gig in Jacksonville.

Trevor Lawrence hopes for a similar Year 2 bump to Joe Burrow’s

Lawrence said he’s following Burrow’s rise in Year 2 but that he’s focused on the things he can control this offseason.

It was a disappointing rookie season for quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He threw more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (12), and he struggled with decision-making and his completion percentage at times throughout the season.

But at the same time, there were clear signs that should inspire optimism from the Jags’ fan base, and if he wants to take a big jump in Year 2, there’s a clear model to follow.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was the first overall pick in 2020, the year before Lawrence, and he came back from an injury-shortened rookie year to have an incredible season that culminates in a Super Bowl appearance against the Los Angeles Rams.

Lawrence told NFL Total Access that he’s been impressed to see the jump Joe Burrow has taken in his second season.

“Obviously what Joe’s been able to do is really impressive, especially when you think about the injury last year too, it’s pretty cool to watch,” Lawrence said. “I’ve got a couple teammates on that team too so I’m excited for them. You can’t fix everything in one year, obviously with the Bengals it seems that way, but I know that was probably a few years in the making and some decisions that they made all kind of came together.”

While it would be natural for Lawrence to feel some pressure to produce in 2022 after the trajectory Burrow has taken, he said that he’s focused on the things that are within his control.

“For me it’s just one, doing what I can do to be the best player I can be next season, not worrying about necessarily everything else that’s involved in it, he said. “I can’t control everything, but I can control the offseason I have, how prepared I am, how fast I get this new system down… It starts with taking ownership of what you can control and then from there being able to lead the team and take everybody with you.”

The Bengals were one of the worst teams in the league in the previous two seasons, and now they’re four quarters away from a world championship. Expecting such a leap for the Jags is certainly not reasonable, but if Lawrence can see a big improvement in his play, this team could surprise some people.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence excited to work with new coach Doug Pederson

“Everyone’s really excited, everyone’s really relieved that we got our guy, and to be able to move forward and just go to work now is a good feeling,” Lawrence said.

Before the Jacksonville Jaguars formally announced former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson as their seventh full-time head coach in franchise history, he had the opportunity to meet with the hopeful franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence.

Lawrence, who had a disappointing first year overall but flashed moments of brilliance that illustrated why he was the top pick in the 2021 NFL draft, said that the first meeting between the two was productive. It’s clear that he’s very excited to work with the new head coach, who replaces Urban Meyer — the legendary college coach whose foray into the NFL ended unceremoniously after just 13 games.

“We’re really excited… [Pederson] just seems like a really great guy, obviously he’s had a lot of success, his résumé kind of speaks for itself,” Lawrence said in a video posted by the Jags Twitter account. He’s an offensive guy, he played quarterback in the NFL, all those things make me really excited and something that I’m excited to get to work with him and see what he brings to the table.

“Everyone’s really excited, everyone’s really relieved that we got our guy, and to be able to move forward and just go to work now is a good feeling.”

The two spoke on the phone on Thursday night shortly after his deal with the team was finalized, but Saturday morning was the first time the pair met in person. Lawrence said he got a good idea of Pederson’s vision for the team moving forward.

“Just getting to know each other, that was the first part of the phone call,” Lawrence said. “Then after that, just talking a little bit of ball, kind of his philosophy, things that he likes to do. Obviously, he played the quarterback position so he sees it through my lens more so than a lot of coaches who haven’t played the position.

“That was really cool to talk to him and hear his take on a lot of things and just vaguely his plan, obviously you can’t get into all the details. But just really excited, he seems super prepared like he’s got a great plan, and I think it’s going to go over really well with the whole team.”

It certainly seems likely that Lawrence will benefit from an offensive-minded hire in Pederson, especially one who has a history of both playing and coaching the quarterback position, specifically. Pederson spent most of his playing career as a backup to Hall-of-Fame quarterback Brett Favre before coaching for the Eagles, later following coach Andy Reid to Kansas City to serve as offensive coordinator.

However, the gem of his coaching career is his victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII with backup Nick Foles as his quarterback. That game set up an interesting coincidence, as Pederson was invited to speak at a Clemson practice just after Lawrence enrolled early as a freshman.

“I’ve heard a lot of great things, he’s actually really close with a lot of people at Clemson, actually the first time I saw him in person, we didn’t really meet, but I was a freshman, just got to Clemson in spring practice,” Lawrence said. “That was after they won the Super Bowl in Philadelphia, so he was there, coach (Dabo) Swinney invited him to speak at one of their clinics and he came to practice and talked with the team.

“Apparently, he told me on the phone, coach Swinney told him then, ‘Hey, watch out for this guy, he’s going to be a good one one day,’ and now he’s the head coach here and we’re on the same team. It’s cool how everyone comes full circle, it’s a small world, and just really excited to work with him.”

The two ended up together after all, and both Lawrence and Jaguars fans will hope the duo leads the Jaguars to the best days in franchise history after a decade of futility.

Retiring Tom Brady has a cool message for Jags QB Trevor Lawrence

“The future is bright for you,” Brady told Lawrence on his Instagram story.

The 2022 offseason marks a big change for the league. With the news that Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger are retiring, the quarterbacks that have dominated the last two decades are almost all gone, with Aaron Rodgers being the only remaining holdout. Now, a new patch of quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert truly own the show.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, heading into his second season, hopes to be one of them, and it seems he’s found a believer in the GOAT.

When Brady officially announced his retirement on Monday, the Jaguars quarterback offered a kind message of respect to Brady on his Instagram story.

“Happy retirement,” Lawrence wrote. “You truly paved the way for quarterbacks for decades. Thankful for your example, the game will miss you.”

The future Hall of Fame quarterback responded in turn.

“The future is bright for you,” Brady wrote.

It’s a cool exchange to see from quarterbacks an entire generation apart. Brady’s influence on players like Lawrence is undeniable, and it’s interesting to see a show of mutual respect like this.

Jags fans will take Brady’s word for it and hope that Lawrence can become the franchise quarterback they’ve been in search of for two decades now.

Do the Jaguars have the AFC South’s most promising QB situation?

With Ryan Tannehill’s struggles on Saturday, which AFC South team is in the best position at quarterback moving forward?

Even with superstar running back Derrick Henry back just 11 weeks removed from foot surgery for the AFC Divisional Round against the Cincinnati Bengals, the top-seeded Tennessee Titans are heading home after a one-and-done performance.

Cincinnati pulled off the upset with a game-winning field goal as time expired, and that drive was set up by an interception from quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the final minute. That was one of several costly mistakes Tannehill made in the game, as he completed just 62.5% of his passes and tossed three total interceptions while throwing just one touchdown.

It was the latest big-game let-down from Tannehill, who threw just 21 touchdowns to 14 interceptions this season. He’s under contract for two more seasons on a deal that will pay him north of $25 million in each of the next two seasons.

With the best team in the division struggling with the most important position, it begs a question: Do the Jags have the best quarterback situation in the AFC South heading into 2022?

It may seem like a wild assertion given Trevor Lawrence’s struggles as a rookie. He completed less than 60% of his passes and despite throwing for 3,641 yards, he had just 12 touchdowns to 17 interceptions. But he also showed many promising signs, and though the team needs to build around him, there may not be another team in the division that feels better about the quarterback spot in the long- term.

Indianapolis acquired Carson Wentz last offseason, and though the former second overall pick had a solid season statistically, he struggled down the stretch, especially in a season finale loss to Jacksonville that cost his team a spot in the playoffs. It seems like the Colts may be looking for a way to move on from Wentz, and unless the team strikes gold in either the Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson sweepstakes, it may be in a bad spot at quarterback next season.

Houston, meanwhile, has an absolute mess on its hands with Deshaun Watson. Even if the star quarterback can revive his career after 22 women came forward with allegations of sexual assault against him, he has almost certainly played his last game for a Texans team that he had already demanded a trade from before the allegations came to light.

Houston is, however, the only team in the division other than Jacksonville that may have the long-term solution at quarterback on the roster. Davis Mills, a third-round pick from Stanford and Houston’s first pick in the draft, wasn’t expected to start as a rookie. But an injury to Tyrod Taylor forced him into action, and he had the most productive season of any rookie with 16 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and an 88.8 passer rating on the season.

However, it’s fair to question how high the ceiling is with Mills and exactly how much upside he has as a prospect. He certainly wasn’t regarded as a talent on par with Lawrence (or the four other first-round quarterbacks, for that matter) but Houston just may have found its answer for the post-Watson era.

The Jaguars need to see a lot more from Lawrence in 2022 to be certain that he’s the franchise quarterback fans hope he will be, but with the rest of the division facing just as many questions at the position, they could be well-positioned to compete in the coming years if they can build around Lawrence.

Jaguars veteran Dare Ogunbowale praises Trevor Lawrence’s leadership as a rookie

“It was a nightmare season to have for a rookie,” Dare Ogunbowale said. “It had to be tough for him to deal with it, but he overcame it and was able to lead us.”

When the Jacksonville Jaguars selected quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick almost a year ago, it was like the city could finally take a breath of fresh air. A franchise that had spent almost its entire history searching for a quarterback now had one of the best passing prospects ever.

Though the roster still had many deficiencies, there was some cautious optimism heading into the 2021 season. However, the team didn’t look much better than it did the year prior, finishing 3-14 with the first pick once again and firing first-year coach Urban Meyer in the process.

It was a lot to go through as a rookie, but running back Dare Ogunbowale, who saw a lot of playing time down the stretch with injuries to James Robinson and Carlos Hyde, praised Lawrence’s intangibles as a young player, especially in terms of leadership.

“I was definitely impressed by the way he led us,” Ogunbowale said. “Like I was just saying, it was a tough season for everybody and for that to be your rookie year to have to go through a season like this had to be a challenge. But he stayed positive and kept us positive and kept us confident.”

Lawrence finished the season completing just shy of 60% of his passes for 3,641 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. He saved his best game for last, though, registering his highest completion percentage of the season while avoiding turnovers in an upset over the Colts that ended their playoff hopes.

Ogunbowale said that Lawrence handled the difficulties as well as any young quarterback could in that situation.

“I would say it’s understandable to watch any rookie struggle,” Ogunbowale said. “I don’t think necessarily just because of the hype or the expectations he had on him that changes anything. You go into a season expecting a rookie to find challenges, but I feel like he attacked those better than a lot of rookies I’ve seen. Like I said, it was a nightmare season to have for a rookie. To have to deal with the things that we dealt with, it was definitely tough. It had to be tough for him to deal with it, but he overcame it and was able to lead us. I’m looking forward to watching him in the future.”

While it wasn’t the season from Lawrence that fans hoped for, he certainly made some eye-popping plays that showed the level he’s capable of playing at. He’s made throws that no Jags quarterback could make in the past, and there’s no reason to be pessimistic about his future, even though he was put in a very bad spot as a rookie.

Adding talent for him in the passing game should be among the team’s top priorities this offseason, but for now, it’s clear that the young passer is one of the team’s vocal leaders, and that should be encouraging to Jags fans trying to find a reason to stay positive as the team is in the midst of its worst stretch in franchise history.