What do the Jacksonville Jaguars do with Trevor Lawrence and how can they help him?

Trevor Lawrence had a puzzling season

By: Tim Rodriguez

As recently as April, everything looked so promising for the Jacksonville Jaguars. They had a new coach, a boatload of draft picks, and Trevor Lawrence, the greatest quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. Just 8 months later, everything appears to be in shambles. Urban Meyer was let go after numerous scandals and a 2-11 record through 13 games. Relative to expectations, Lawrence has struggled mightily thus far, with just one touchdown pass since Halloween. Through constant dysfunction, lack of offensive talent, and a rookie wall, Lawrence has not been able to lift up this franchise in disarray. Many have used this as an indictment against the young signal caller and called for questioning of his “once in a generation” draft billing. To me, that is misguided. Trevor Lawrence will be a great quarterback in due time. That is something that is so certain not even the Jaguars can stop it.

One and done?

There have been discussions about Lawrence’s rookie season being rough enough to justify moving on from him after just one year. Let’s get this out of the way quickly. There’s no corner of the universe (or multiverse) where getting rid of Trevor Lawrence after one season should be considered an option. It’s just not a realistic or viable option. He’s the number one overall pick, he carries a massive cap hit, and has as much potential as anyone we have ever seen at the position. Let’s put this dream to be while it’s still early.

A new man in charge

With the disastrous Urban Meyer era in the past, the Jacksonville Jaguars will now look for their third coach in as many seasons. Who should that be? This franchise is in such a sensitive spot right now that it may be the most important decision they have made in their entire history. It’s easy to just pick the best young coordinator, but this is a situation that feels like it needs stability and experience. Nathaniel Hackett (Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator) and Kellen Moore (Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator) have been rumored for the job, but former Philadelphia Eagles head coach feels like the absolute best option for the job. He brings experience and multiple winning seasons, along with a super bowl to Duval.

HELP

This roster has less talent than even I would be comfortable with. The offensive line is an absolute disaster and the wide receiver room has been unable to catch the ball since training camp. They might finish with the number one overall pick, leaving them with the opportunity to add a high impact player, most likely on defense. There is also the option of adding an elite offensive lineman.

NFL Week 1: Previewing rookie quarterbacks

Which new faces will shine the brightest?

By Calvin K (Twitter: @Calvin_SGF)

After a long and tumultuous offseason, Week 1 of the NFL season has finally arrived. There will certainly be plenty of storylines to unpack from the 15 remaining games on Sunday and Monday, not least of which will be the performances of this year’s rookie QBs. Five quarterbacks were selected in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, and three of them will start right away for their teams, bearing the burden of fan optimism from day one. In this article, I’ll be previewing those three games, analyzing the quarterbacks, and giving my final score predictions for each.

1. Jaguars vs. Texans (Trevor Lawrence)

Lawrence was the clear choice at number one overall for Jacksonville, and he’ll get to start his career with perhaps his best possible opening matchup, the dismal Houston Texans. There are no bright spots on this Texans defense, so Lawrence should definitely be able to make some noise in Week 1. Houston’s trade of starting cornerback Bradley Roby to the Saints further exacerbates their secondary problems, and it’s clear by now that the Texans’ year has been lost before it’s even begun.

Lawrence will have three solid WRs at his disposal, with Marvin Jones, D.J. Chark, and Laviska Shenault leading a group that could put up decent numbers this year. Running back James Robinson was the lone bright spot for Jacksonville last year, and if he can continue his level of play from last year, the Jags’ running game could be a problem for opposing defenses. Houston isn’t likely to get much done on offense, either, with a journeyman starting QB in Tyrod Taylor and a hodgepodge of mediocre RBs and WRs (outside of their one solid weapon, 27-year-old Brandin Cooks). The divisional rivalry could potentially add some atmosphere to this game, but viewers of this matchup are likely in for a slog, with the Jags taking victory with relative ease.

Prediction: Jaguars, 21-10

2. Jets vs. Panthers (Zach Wilson)

Wilson, this year’s number two overall pick, will also have an opportunity to succeed in Week 1, as this Panthers secondary became one of their biggest issues last year. The addition of cornerback Jaycee Horn with the eighth pick in the draft will certainly help matters, but it’s unlikely that Horn makes a big impact in his first career game. That will leave Wilson with a chance to pick apart Carolina’s defense, and with a reliable Corey Davis and explosive Elijah Moore at his disposal, he could rack up some good stats and potentially even win this matchup.

Wilson was one of my favorite prospects in this entire draft class, and my quarterback rankings actually predict him to have the best career out of all 2021 rookie QBs. His ability to launch bombs from anywhere on the field is undoubtedly the best in his draft class, and he has an underrated ability to consistently make good decisions from both inside and outside the pocket. This Jets defense will be hurt by the loss of young edge rusher Carl Lawson, but this is still a well-coached unit led by a defensive-minded HC in Robert Saleh. Carolina will certainly be a threat with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Robby Anderson leading this offense, but I’ll predict that Sam Darnold continues his struggles and is unable to lead the Panthers to a victory.

Prediction: Jets, 27-21

3. Patriots vs. Dolphins (Mac Jones)

Jones was selected at number 15 overall by the Patriots, and with the release of Cam Newton, it’s now clear that he has earned the right to be New England’s starter from the beginning. He’ll have easily the toughest matchup out of all three of these QBs, facing a Dolphins team that has a tough, emerging young defense.

Cornerback Xavien Howard’s contract situation has been resolved, and he is back with the team and ready to play in 2021. This is crucial for the Dolphins, as they now get back a top-five NFL corner with the ability to lock down practically any elite receiver. Miami’s defensive line is led by edge rusher Emmanuel Ogbah (nine sacks in 2020), and Raekwon Davis and Christian Wilkins should also be serviceable starters. Jerome Baker has also been able to get sacks from his inside linebacker spot (seven last year), and this secondary also has additional solid pieces, such as Byron Jones, Jason McCourty, and an interesting second-year talent in Noah Igbinoghene. This defense will make it hard for Jones to put up monster passing numbers, but Jones’ ability to consistently make good reads could mean he still has a good game. He’ll likely be relying on tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry as establishing underneath presences, and WRs Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers should be involved as well. This game will certainly be an exciting one to watch, but I’ll take Miami over New England in this one, although it should be close.

Prediction: Dolphins, 23-20

Urban Meyer’s career so far: can he transform the Jaguars?

Urban Meyer career up to this point

By: Andy Davies

The Jacksonville Jaguars will go into the 2021 season with a new head coach. Urban Meyer is the new man to take charge, hoping to be the guy to change the fortunes of a franchise that has struggled for many years. After drafting the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in Trevor Lawrence this year with the number one overall pick, the Jags fans have rarely gone into a season this excited. The Jags have twice gone into a season on the back of reaching an AFC Championship game but with the addition of Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence, there is a real buzz around the organization and in the city of Jacksonville. However, Urban Meyer has never coached in the NFL. He is one of the most successful college head coaches of his generation. Can he translate this to the pros?

His Journey As A Player

Meyer was a walk-on in college as a defensive back for the University of Cincinnati, despite initially being drafted by Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves in 1982. Injury would deny Meyer the chance to make it as a professional player, but he showed signs of his coaching credentials whilst in college. He would go back to college, heading to Ohio State University where he studied sports administration. He would get a degree at both colleges, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Cincinnati and sports administration at Ohio State, which will have no doubt helped him massively during his time as a football coach.

He may not have made it to the NFL as a player but he showed signs of his credentials as a coach during his time in college. Meyer would often spend additional time in practice, learning how to run them and handle substitutions. These all prepared him for life as a coach. As a player, he was part of a Cincinnati team that finished 2-9, with Meyer saying that it “wasn’t a great experience. We weren’t very good”. This will help him be prepared for a Jaguars team that won just one game in 2020. His former coach in Cincinnati David Currey spoke of his coaching abilities.

“He was not a great player but you could tell he would coach for a living. He was a student of the game, always trying to learn about things”.

The Start Of Meyer’s Coaching Career

He started his coaching career in 1985 as a defensive backs coach for St Xavier High School in Ohio before becoming a graduate assistant for two seasons with Ohio State. He spent two years with Illinois State as an outside linebackers coach in 1988 and a quarterback and wide receivers coach in 1989. He would then spend eleven years as a wide receivers coach, spending six with Colorado State and then five with Notre Dame before getting his first head coaching job in 2001 with Bowling Green.

The Early Stages Of His Time As A Head Coach In College

Meyer only spent two seasons with Bowling Green but would leave the team with a 17-6 record in charge. Highlights of his time there was the 56-21 win over rivals, the University of Toledo Rockets. Whilst with Bowling Green, he transformer their fortunes. He joined with the team having gone 2-9 in 2000 to then go 8-3 in 2001 and 9-3 in 2002, before leaving for the University of Utah.

Utah hired Meyer and was an instant success, going 10-2 and winning the Liberty Bowl in 2003. They would go 12-0 and win the Fiesta Bowl in 2004. Whilst with the university, he coached safety Eric Weddle and quarterback Alex Smith, who went on to be the number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Smith would become an inspiration to everyone when he went on to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year during the 2020 season, returning the field after a life threatening injury in 2018.

Meyer openly claimed that he “made Utah competitive” during his time there. Morgan Scalley played as a defensive back under Meyer at Utah before going on to become a defensive coordinator with the college. He spoke of how Meyer changed everything.

“You could tell it would be different from the first session at the weight room. I never had butterflies going into a weight room and that had me going”.

Success With Florida and Ohio State

The Florida Gators then came calling in 2005, where Meyer would spend the next six seasons. He would coach notable players such as Cam Newton, Carlos Dunlap, Janoris Jenkins, Maurkice and Mike Pouncey, Tim Tebow and Trey Burton during his time in Florida as head coach. With an overall record 65-15 with the Gators, Meyer won Florida the Outback Bowl and the Sugar Bowl as well as winning two National Championships. He had a 5-1 record with Florida in Bowl games. Following a health scare, Meyer decided to leave the Gators after the 2010 seasons as he wanted to put focus on his family and “life away from the field”.

He soon returned to college football, becoming Ohio State head coach two seasons later. During his time with the team, he had an 83-9 record. He won one National Championship as well as a Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. His time there sadly ended in controversy, before leaving in 2018 due to health reasons. He spent time as a television analyst before accepting the Jacksonville head coaching position in January 2021.

His Coaching Style & The Spread Offense

Meyer is seen as someone who is competitive, fiery and resolute. His “juice” is said to fire his teams up, with his infectious personality an integral part of his head coaching success. During his time as an analyst, he often went through a breakdown of offensive systems, with one component of his style of coaching being his Spread Offense.

This is a scheme which features four receivers, resulting in the opposition defense attempting to cover these players. This system allows the run game to excel, with RPO and read option plays often used under this style of offense. In a modern day NFL, we are seeing plenty of college schemes being brought into the league. Meyer will look to bring this style of coaching into the NFL that worked so well for him in college.

Can He Transform The Jaguars?

This is not going to be an easy task for Meyer but as he showed in Utah, he is capable of turning a team around. Jacksonville has the talent on their roster but have never seemed to fulfil their potential. One of their aforementioned trips to the AFC Championship was in the 2017 season. Their defense named ‘Sacksonville” played a big part in their journey, where they had a ten point lead and were nine minutes away from reaching the Super Bowl. They would end up losing 24-20 in agonizing fashion.

The components of Sacksonville would slowly fall apart. Jalen Ramsey, Malik Jackson and Yannick Ngakoue all left in 2019, with both A.J. Bouye and Calais Campbell leaving in 2020. Quarterback Blake Bortles was seen as the player holding back the team, being released in March 2019 as the Jaguars looked to Nick Foles, who won Super Bowl 52 MVP just a year earlier. He was seen as the missing piece in the jigsaw but only lasted one season in a disappointing spell with the franchise.

Head coach Doug Marrone guided Jacksonville to the AFC Championship and a 10-6 record in his first full season as head coach of the franchise. Despite this, he couldn’t guide them to more than six wins in any of the three seasons that followed before being fired in January 2021. Issues off the field started to develop, with the players arrested on their annual trip to London in 2018 after an unpaid £50,000 drinks bill. Meyer won’t stand for any negative behaviour with his aforementioned fiery, competitive and infectious personality is likely to keep the players in check.

And then of course, there is Lawrence. One of the best college prospects in many years, he brings a lot of expectation with Jags fans pinning their hopes on him being the man to bring the good times to this franchise. He had not lost a regular season game since high school and reached the National Championship in two of his three seasons with the Clemson Tigers, winning one of those two.

He played 40 games in college and threw for 758 out of his 1,138 throws, giving him a 66.6 completion percentage. Across his time with Clemson, he threw for 90 touchdowns and 10,098 yards. Jacksonville have a real talent on their hands and they need to do everything they can to ensure he fulfils his tremendous potential.

Along with Lawrence, they have reunited their number one overall pick with his Clemson team-mate in running back Travis Etienne, who recorded 70 rushing touchdowns and 4,952 rushing yards during his four seasons in the ACC. He will join a running back room alongside James Robinson, who impressed highly in 2020 during his rookie year with 1,070 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns. Etienne is said to also be working out as a receiver, which gives variety to the offensive side of the ball. Former Detroit Lions wideout Marvin Jones has joined the team via Free Agency to add depth to a wide receiver room already including DJ Chark Jr and Laviska Shenault Jr. Second-round pick Tyson Campbell gives depth to the Jaguars secondary, as will 65th overall pick Andre Cisco. 45th overall selection Walker Little will add protection to the Jags offensive line. Myles Jack is a survivor from the Sacksonville era and alongside fellow linebacker Josh Allen, they have the potential to cause problems for the opposition.

Jacksonville have a long rebuild ahead and fans should not expect an immediate transformation. Doubts remain over new Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz and whether he can get back to his 2017 form. The Tennessee Titans’ defense is seen as their Achilles heels and the Houston Texans are a mess. They will likely see their quarterback Deshaun Watson leave, which will result in years of struggles and mediocrity. This is not the toughest division in the NFL and the Jags will want to capitalise on this, but the improvement will likely be in either year 2, 3 or 4 of the Urban Meyer Jacksonville era.

How the Jacksonville Jaguars Can Win the AFC South

Will the Jacksonville Jaguars win the AFC South?

By: Tayyib Abu

The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the most intriguing teams heading into the 2021 NFL season. The Jags ended the 2020 season with a 1-15 record; they were the worst team in the league. The reward for that abject failure was getting to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The long-haired signal-caller is widely regarded as the most talented quarterback to enter the league since Andrew Luck. Add the hire of serial collegiate winner Urban Meyer as head coach, and the Jags are now in the spotlight on a national level.

The Jags are only four years removed from an appearance in the AFC Championship game. That day Jacksonville went down to Tom Brady’s Patriots. In the subsequent four years, Jacksonville has struggled, especially at the quarterback position. Now they got their quarterback for the future and a marquee head coach. Despite the stiff competition in the division, the Jags could shock the world and go worst, to first. Here’s how.

The Talent of Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence is an incredible talent. The former National Champion heads into Duval County with a glittering array of accolades and performances tucked in his suitcase. Lawrence’s remarkable poise, mechanics and arm talent are all in the elite echelon.

With Deshaun Watson’s likely absence from Houston, it is not a stretch to suggest that Lawrence is the most talented quarterback in the AFC South. Assisting Lawrence is veteran offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The former four-year starter at Wisconsin brings a ton of experience working with some top quarterbacks.

Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford are two of the quarterbacks to work with Bevell. Russell Wilson was a rookie when Bevell first worked with him. Bevell employed a power run game with a healthy dose of play-action, rollouts and bootlegs to use Wilson’s mobility.

Lawrence is another quarterback with excellent mobility. He is graceful on his feet; he dances out of the pocket like a ballet dancer. With Clemson’s Travis Etienne and sophomore back James Robinson in the backfield, Lawrence has help from his running back room.

If Bevell can create a user-friendly offence for Lawrence, the young passer should excel. He goes through his progressions calmly, makes intelligent decisions and diagnoses defensive looks at a good pace. With DJ Chark, Laviska Shainault and free-agent signing Marvin Jones, Lawrence has a decent wideout core.

We saw Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow enjoy brilliant rookie seasons despite a truncated offseason program. With an entire offseason, experienced coaching staff and talent around him, Lawrence could shine. If he plays at a Rookie of The Year level, the Jags could get dragged into contention for the division title.

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer holds a controversial history. His various teams’ disciplinary records are a blight on Meyer’s resume. He also comes with a lot of negative baggage surrounding his personality and health issues. Nevertheless, Meyer is one of the most successful college coaches in modern history.

Meyer is a relentless, inspirational, winning machine. People should also ignore the trope that he only won due to the recruiting power of some of the more prominent colleges. His success at Bowling Green and Utah confound the redundant recruiting argument. Some coaches can change things instantly due to being magnetic leaders of men.

Meyer’s created a locker room that gravitates towards him and his coaching staff throughout his college career. The bond between him and his players at Florida was unbreakable. That is highlighted by the fact that Tim Tebow came back to football as a tight end in Jacksonville. That is the esteem and respect that Meyer’s players hold him in.

Due to football’s physical and violent nature, the game is like a war between two rival tribes. The relationship between players and coaches must get built on granite if they are to succeed. Meyer’s team have historically played a physical, intense brand of football. They physically look to dominate teams. The Jags were the doormat of the AFC South last year; to rise and challenge, they must strike fear into the hearts of opponents.

Lastly, Meyer utilizes a spread offence with a lot of emphasis on run-first variations. That may explain the selection of Etienne to work with Lawrence. Meyer is a competent coach with a high level of tactical acumen; the Jags will enter the field every Sunday to compete with the best due to their attitude and game plan.

His offensive philosophy meshes well with Bevell, and it should help them develop Trevor Lawrence into the all-world, all-star quarterback that most expect.


If Meyer ticks the locker room and Lawrence box this season, the Jags could surprise many teams in the AFC. It could even lead them to a potential challenge for the division title.

Landing Spots for All 5 of the Top QB Prospects

Who will Lawrence, Wilson, Fields, Lance and Jones play for in 2021?

by Michael Obermuller

The lead-up to the NFL Draft is a sports process like no other. The speculation, the intrigue, the misinformation and strategy used by different franchises and general managers. Considering the diverse crop of quarterback talent available in 2021, this offseason has been as wild as ever. I mean, just look at this curveball from Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer a few days before draft night.

Trevor Lawrence has been the consensus number one pick for what feels like years, and Jags owner Shad Khan has seemed pretty intent on marketing the rebirth of the franchise around the Clemson star, so why then is Meyer still choosing between three players at No. 1 overall?

It could just be due diligence from a first year NFL head coach, or maybe Lawrence to Jacksonville isn’t as much of a lock as most people thought. After all, there is certainly no reason to play mind-games with opposing GM’s when you’re the one picking first. Yet here we are left with this mysterious quote.

Don’t you worry though, I’ve seen through all the GM mumbo jumbo of the past few months and I’m confident in saying that I have figured out where each quarterback will end up — I think. Either way, I’ll give it a whirl, starting with the aforementioned Jaguars.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (No. 1)

I know, after all that in the introduction, I’m still predicting T-Law to DUVAL? That’s right, because if Meyer wants to pull off the most shocking move in recent draft memory, he can do it without my blessing. There are a couple important things to note here though. One, Meyer is not considering Mac Jones or Trey Lance in the top spot. Could this have an influence on other franchises behind him? Urban was a premier college recruiter for a long time after all. Or perhaps he has yet to gain the respect of his fellow NFL peers, and his opinion means very little to them. Two, the former Ohio State HC and program director is likely passing on his former QB, Justin Fields. Meyer actually ranked the quarterbacks in a preseason show in June of 2020, with Lawrence first in his ranks and Fields second. His reasoning at the time was this;

[Lawrence] played one more year. That was it. The one thing I’ll say about Justin Fields because I’m very close to the situation, any concerns about him being a throwing quarterback are gone now. He’s developed, he’s outstanding.

– Urban Meyer, FOX College Football

The Jags could certainly throw a wrench in the entire draft by taking either Zach Wilson or Fields, which would probably send Lawrence to New York at No. 2, but it’s highly unlikely and I’m not buying it. Size, accuracy, speed, raw ability, intelligence, drive — Lawrence is the consensus number one for a reason. I’m not saying that he’s guaranteed to be the most successful NFL product, he’s not, but he is the safe bet for Jacksonville. For the sake of all our sanities, let’s move on and assume this sticks.

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson (No. 2)

GM Joe Douglas and the New York Jets have traded 2018 first round pick Sam Darnold, so yes they are 100 percent taking a quarterback at two (for those who haven’t been paying attention). They have been linked to the BYU Cougars signal-caller more and more since Week 17, and I personally don’t see this changing on Thursday night. Wilson checks all the boxes for the Jets. He is an accurate passer and a competitive winner (albeit against lesser competition), known for his on-the-fly decision-making and pocket presence as well as an arm that throws just as far on the move as it does standing upright. Wilson has drawn recent comparisons to Patrick Mahomes for some of these intangible traits, but there’s a contingent of fans that still have doubts that scouts and GM’s are once again sleeping on in-your-face talent.

If Fields can translate his OSU skillset to the pros, it wouldn’t be the first time that the best and brightest NFL minds in the game are totally wrong. I mean he did run a 4.44 forty with a 70.2 completion percentage in 2020. For the record, as you’ll see throughout this article, Fields is my personal QB1 in this class, but that doesn’t mean he appeals to the teams picking in the top three.

3. San Francisco 49ers: Mac Jones (No. 3)

Is the infamous “smokescreen tactic” being utilized by Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch and the San Francisco 49ers? It’s quite possible, in fact Joe Douglas and the Jets could be using it too for all we know. If Fields truly is the quarterback with the most upside potential, it would make sense that every GM behind the Jaguars is trying to keep Meyer off their trail by talking up Wilson, Jones and Lance. At the same time, it seems even more likely that the NFL brass are once again scared off by an Ohio State product who has been labeled as a runner that struggles with his progressional reads. If Lawrence and Wilson do indeed go one-two, Fields should be the pick at three in my opinion, but he may not be according to reports.

There’s something fishy about this developing story, because Jones and Lance couldn’t be more different as prospects. I can’t deny that Mac Jones makes sense as Shanahan’s favorite option. The Niners HC has highlighted his on-field and NFL-ready intelligence, citing that the Alabama product is the win-now choice for a team that was in the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Jones is also the most similar to the quarterbacks that have flourished in Shanahan’s system in the past (Matt Ryan, Jimmy Garoppolo). Lance on the other hand makes me scratch my head. He’s from a small program that did not play against NFL-type talent, he’s not game-ready by most estimations, and he’s athletic rather than accurate or experienced. The fact that San Francisco is torn between these two, but not interested in the player that is pretty much the combination of both (Fields) is odd to say the least. For these reasons, I do think there’s a chance that the 49ers are under-selling Fields on purpose, but I’ll begrudgingly stick with Jones here anyway because of how well he fits the Shanahan mold.

4. TRADE — Denver Broncos: Trey Lance (No. 4)

Some have the Atlanta Falcons taking Lance at four, but in the end I think Arthur Smith’s new offense stands pat with the reliability of Matty Ice for a couple more seasons and trades down to reconstruct this roster from the inside out. That process may not start with an inexperienced QB, but it could begin with a haul of present and future draft picks. The next question is their trade partner, and although it has not been mentioned as much as a New England or Washington Football Team, the Denver Broncos are my under-the-radar candidate to make the jump from ninth to fourth. George Paton is taking over as GM for the Broncos, and he may try and make a splash in his first NFL Draft having the final say.

Everything about Paton’s thinking for his first draft screams Lance to me. It’s unexpected, out-of-the-box, and hopefully solves the problem that John Elway failed at for years in the same position — finding a franchise quarterback. Drew Lock has yet to display any qualities that separate him from the rest of the league, so I expect Paton to jump at the opportunity to bring in someone that can compete not only with Lock, but long-term with division rivals like Mahomes and Justin Herbert. Of course, the Broncos could also go with Fields here, but I’m sticking with my theme that this inexplicable stigma drops my QB1 down to QB5. I also like the fit for Lance in Denver. He played at North Dakota State, a similar climate, and his build and physicality as a runner bear some resemblance to Elway himself. Although I’m sure Broncos fans would also take his Josh Allen comp.

5. Detroit Lions: Justin Fields (No. 7)

So where oh where will Mr. Fields land? No he won’t fall out of the top 10, and I don’t expect the Cincinnati Bengals or Miami Dolphins to trade down either when they can grab the players they covet most (Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase by all reports) at five and six. That leaves the Detroit Lions, who could choose to trade down with the Patriots or the highest bidder, but honestly why would they? The Lions roster moves have signaled a total overhaul rebuild under the new regime of Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes, and they already have enough future draft capital from the Matthew Stafford trade where they don’t need more first round picks. They need a franchise quarterback. The wrinkle that you may point out is that they also received back Jared Goff and his contract in that same deal. Let’s be honest though, Goff is a placeholder in Detroit at best. At worst, he’s a cap casualty after 2022 (when cutting him would only cost $10 million). So why not accelerate the process if Justin Fields falls into your lap?

A player with as much potential as Fields could be a dream for Holmes at No. 7 in his first NFL Draft, and the young QB could even learn under Goff as a rookie before jumpining into the NFL head-first. He can truly do it all; whether it’s his accuracy as a passer or his agility as a runner, his escapability in the pocket or strong arm on the run, his competitiveness as an premier athlete or his confidence in primetime games. I’m not sure why every team is insistent on looking past Fields, and maybe it all is a smokescreen and he goes top three, but it just feels like the NFL scouts and decision-makers are talking themselves into passing on another superstar.

Why Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are the top two picks

By: Cody Molla (Twitter: @ Cmolla1)

Draft day is just over a day away and the anticipation of what each NFL franchise will do has all fans excited! The first round of the NFL draft goes live at 8:00 PM ET from Cleveland. The draft is back in person after a remote and virtual draft last year. The commissioner will be back on stage greeting and shaking hands with the future stars of the NFL.

The Jaguars have been on the clock for months. They hold the first pick of this year’s draft and it is all but done in the eyes of everyone. Could they shock the world and really shake things up? Maybe but it is unlikely! The prospect everyone penciled in for Jacksonville and the number one overall pick of this year’s draft is Trevor Lawrence, from Clemson.

For the first time in franchise history, the Jaguars will have the number one pick. This is pivotal for the franchise and the future of their newly signed head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer is testing his luck in the NFL for the first time after winning multiple NCAA Football Championships and coming out of retirement. Meyer won National Championships at both Florida and Ohio State in the past. He has plenty of championship pedigree in the college ranks. Meyer has tallied 187 wins in 17 NCAA seasons as a head coach. Meyer will start off his NFL tenure with a high caliber QB in Trevor Lawrence.

Why Lawrence is a sure fire number one pick can be seen in his football career dating back to high school. Lawrence broke the Georgia high school record for yards and touchdowns in his senior year, records previously held by Deshaun Watson. He broke these records while competing versus another high profile quarterback in this class in Justin Fields, who grew up 20 miles away from Lawrence. Lawrence followed Watson to the University of Clemson. In his freshman season, he led the Tigers to a National Championship. Lawrence led the Tigers in a route over Alabama. The next season Lawrence made it to the College Football Championship again but lost to Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers. His junior year Clemson lost to Ohio State in the semifinals.

Lawrence’s college career is full of gaudy numbers. In three seasons as a starter, he tallied a record of 34-2. Lawrence completed 66.6% of his passes for 10,098 total yards. He has a career passer rating of 164.3 with 90 career passing touchdowns to 17 interceptions. He wasn’t just a pure passer he has the ability to run and make big plays with his legs outside the pocket. Lawrence rushed for 943 yards for an average of 4.1 yards per carry and 18 touchdowns. We all saw his running ability in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl where he broke off a 67 yard touchdown run.

Of course, with all the numbers come awards and accolades. Lawrence has plenty of All-Honors from all of his seasons. He finished second in Heisman voting last year as well as a finalist for the Maxwell, O’Brien, and Camp Player of the Year Awards.

Lawrence is regarded as the ultimate NFL prototype in today’s game. With rare size, mobility, speed, awareness, arm strength, and accuracy Lawrence is set to play a huge role in the Jaguars future. Mel Kiper graded Lawrence as his fourth highest quarterback ever and the highest since Andrew Luck. The experts say Lawrence is an Elway, Luck, Manning type of player.

Lawrence is a smooth operator in the pocket, his awareness and athleticism allow him to move in the pocket and he uses his eyes and arm talent to make plays. He works well under pressure and can beat you outside the pocket. His experience in big games vs high quality competition gives NFL teams a clear view of his ability on the field.

Off the field, Lawrence doesn’t raise any red flags. Last year he missed a few games with a positive covid test. He was on the sideline engaged in the game and helping his teammates and team in whatever fashion he was able to. He showed another phase of his toughness and football spirit by having his pro day on February 12th. He was scheduled for labrum surgery on his non-throwing shoulder on February 16th. He’s expected to make a full recovery before camp and get ready for his rookie season.

Lawrence will make it four straight years a quarterback is picked number one overall. The Jaguars are rebuilding a team and former pro bowl receiver DJ Chark will be excited with his new signal caller. Of course, there are no guarantees of becoming a superstar in the NFL but Lawrence is an insanely talented prospect and one of great value for the Jaguars.

The second overall pick belongs to the New York Jets. A team that also is looking for a future leader at the quarterback position and one with a new first time NFL head coach. Robert Saleh was signed as the Jets new head coach back in January. Saleh has been an NFL coach on the defensive side of the ball since 2005. Most recently he was the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers starting in 2017. With a new defensive coach and at the time a young quarterback the Jets were looking at prospects in the playmaking and defensive side of the ball. However, a lot has changed since January.

The Jets traded away Sam Darnold to the Panthers earlier this month. Darnold was supposed to be the savior of the Jets after being drafted third overall in 2018. Without a quarterback, the Jets are expected to draft Zach Wilson with the second overall pick.

The Jets have been linked to Wilson since his pro day at BYU. Wilson made some high level throws including a viral throw that may have started a trend in the following pro days. Wilson is a gunslinging quarterback prospect with the talent to make big explosive plays off schedule. Wilson broke out in his final season at BYU with many plays of this type. Wilson led BYU to an 11-1 in his junior season. He threw for 3692 yards, 33 touchdowns to 3 interceptions while completing 73.5% of his passes. The completion percentage ranked second in FBS last year and he broke Steve Young’s BYU record. He also used his rushing ability for 235 yards and 10 scores. Surprisingly to some Wilson does have Hawaiian ancestry and was named a co-recipient of the 2020 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.

What the experts like about Wilsons 2020 tape is a vast improvement in play from previous years combined with explosive plays and the ability to execute tight window throws on and off schedule. Some of those tight window throws come with a lot of risks although only three went as turnovers scouts would like a higher level of decision making in the next level. His mobility kept defenders honest, he’s able to slide in the pocket and make accurate throws deep as well as good decisions while scrambling. His deep ball accuracy was over 50% and he gave big receivers plenty of opportunities to win 50-50 balls.  

Although BYU didn’t face elite completion Wilson was able to deliver the goods to show he’s an NFL caliber player. In the cougars lone loss vs Coastal Carolina another group of five school that was ranked Wilson played well but showed some holes in decision making and accuracy. He’s got the tools and ability to overcome those struggles and the Jets are likely to make him the second overall pick.

Even though Wilson will go after Lawrence some think Wilson will be the better NFL quarterback. Crediting his accuracy and playmaking. Gang Green get ready to welcome Zach Wilson after booing the commissioner.

The top two picks are nearly 100% locked in by all. The draft really starts at number three with the 49ers. Thursday night will be highly entertaining and the anticipation and excitement will grow more till your team is officially on the clock.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Top-10 Selections

By: Jake Rajala (Twitter: @rajala_jake)

The 2021 NFL playoffs are in full swing as the divisional round steadily approaches. On Saturday, the match-ups presented ought to be highlighted by the Aaron Donald led Rams combatting the MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers in the frozen tundra at 4:35 ET. Later on in the day, the often criticized big-game performer Lamar Jackson takes a trip up north to battle the satisfied galvanized Bills Mafia.

The last course of match-ups are kicked off by the ground and pound Cleveland Browns taking a trip to Kansas City, as the first seventh seed to advance to the divisional round in NFL history faces the defending Super Bowl champions (Kansas City Chiefs). And come to 6:40 ET on Sunday, it’s time to witness the ageless Tom Brady faces his kryptonite Saints in the Big Easy.

The NFL season has faced its ups and downs through the COVID halted season, but it’s truly been an exceptional gift to not only see mid-January playoff action but a plate of intriguing match-ups being displayed this 2021 divisional round.

Once the eclipse of the near 2020-2021 season finishes at the expense of a Lombardi trophy up for the taking in Tampa Bay, the most prosperous focus will be on the NFL draft for 32 teams. And candidly; the evaluation of elite prospects is already on location for the teams witnessing the eight playoff teams remaining.

As February and the NFL combine inches closer, let’s attack a polarizing mock draft of where the “cream of the top” prospects could land in April. In this draft feature, I’m going to untwine how I project the Top-10 draft picks to play out. Let’s get started.

  1. 1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence-QB-Clemson

The glamorous news is in the works in Jaguars nation. Urban Meyer has touched down in Jacksonville, as he is expected to be pinned their shiny head coach. This is the first time that the 56-year-old coach has been a head coach at the NFL ranks.

At this point in the conclusion of the College Football season and another championship won by Nick Saban, it’s clear that Trevor Lawrence is in the driver’s seat to be the No. one overall draft choice. Meyer and Lawrence will be a dream fit, as the all-time great CFB coach knew what he was doing when saving his NFL resume until 2021. Here’s an overview of notable QBs to relish under Urban Meyers:

Alex Smith (Utah)

Tim Tebow (Florida)

Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State)

Urban Meyers is ready to take the reigns, inject inspriation into Jacksonville fan base, and make Trevor Lawrence a offensive rookie of the year candidate in 2021.

2) New York Jets: Justin Fields-QB-Ohio State

The Ohio State dual-threat QB is ready to take his show to the next level. Fields started the COVID decimated season throwing more touchdowns than incompletions, then faced some adversity in the passing game, but finally flexed his freakish athletic ability in a massive, gutsy victory over Clemson.

As Urban Meyer flees to Jacksonville, the New York Jets notch their future head coach in Robert Saleh. Saleh is the guy they believe is destined to build the right culture, create up a potent defense, and perform the right overhaul in the big apple.

I don’t foresee the coaching hire having a drastic change with their choice at No. two overall (assuming they don’t trade back). Fields has done enough to prove his worth as a Top-two draft pick & he’s the right QB to lean on against Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa, and “Bill Belichick” in the AFC East.

3) Carolina Panthers (Trade with Miami Dolphins): Zach Wilson-QB-BYU

Out of the teams that need a top QB in the draft the most, I would argue that Carolina is viable for the top squad in such debate. The Carolina Panthers finished third place in the NFC South under a 5-11 record, which ultimately led to the new GM hire of Scott Fitterer.

The Panthers understand that they compete in a divison where the Buccaneers sit in second place, while the Saints are one of the most invested “win now” teams, despite Brees expected to retire post this playoff run. On offense, they are ready to hand the keys to a signal caller that can propel an offense fueled by Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and swiss army knife Curtis Samuel.

Joe Brady runs an efficient orchestra, but Teddy Bridgewater looks like the previous game manager in Minnesota. Zach Wilson posted the second-highest QBR since 2014 in 2020 (95.4), and it’s not deceiving to know that Carolina needs a star QB to compete in the brute NFC South while boasting a young defense that has its growing pains.

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