Trevor Lawrence didn’t need to hold an individual pro day back at Clemson on Friday to guarantee that he will be the No. 1 overall pick to the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence went through the requisite series of passing drills, but the most impressive thing he showed the scouts, coaches and other personnel men from more than half the league was reminding everyone just how elite his athleticism is for his size.
Under the watchful eye of his future NFL head coach in Jacksonville, Urban Meyer, Lawrence lit it up in the Poe Indoor Facility. According to NFL Network’s Jane Slater, Lawrence weighed in at 6 feet and 5 5/8 inches at a svelte, strong 213 pounds. He also had a hand size of a solid 10 inches, with his arm measured at 31 1/2 inches with a wingspan of 78 1/4 inches.
Lawrence threw the whole route tree to wide receivers looking to improve their NFL prospects in 2021, including Cornell Powell, a former Clemson teammate who became a hotter prospect at the Senior Bowl, and Charone Peake, a 28-year-old veteran who was a seventh-round pick for the Jets out of Clemson in 2016. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, 17 teams were represented in all, led by the Jaguars with Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
Lawrence did plenty to prove his worth with his prolific and championship college career. Here the takeaways from his unofficial last day as a Tiger for Dabo Swinney:
The Jaguars are already obsessed with Trevor Lawrence
Meyer and Swinney wore masks to follow COVID-19 protocols, but Meyer had trouble professionally distancing himself from Lawrence. While the other teams were on the sidelines, Meyer chatted with Swinney and was right there on the field with the best player in the draft. Bevell and Meyer know they will be working with Lawrence soon and can rest assured that there should be no playbook limitations or “reining in” Lawrence as a rookie.
Jacksonville officials didn’t need to scout Lawrence in person at all to know he was going to be their pick. They were there to accelerate their excitement and get a jumpstart on what little Lawrence needs to complete to his advanced development.
Trevor Lawrence competed for himself, not against anyone else
The big question about Lawrence getting in a pro day before having surgery to repair the labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder, was why? Lawrence, out there in a purple Clemson tee, runner’s shorts and Air Jordans, was having fun throwing smooth passes all over the field. His passion for the game, even when not in a game, was made more evident to everyone.
In talking to ESPN’s Rece Davis after the pro day workout, Lawrence wanted to throw because he loves throwing, and was “adapting and adjusting” to the fact that his pre-draft plans now will be about rehabbing injury vs. intense training out in California. Jordan Palmer — the brother of 2003 No. 1 overall pick Carson — who oversaw the workout, told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer that Lawrence “had nothing to hide.”
Lawrence didn’t need to go in trying to hold off BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields as the clear-cut top QB in the class. He instead accomplished the goal of further boosting his own high stock, leaving everyone wanting more.
Trevor Lawrence will be only truly ready to perform again in Jaguars training camp
Lawrence, as previously estimated, told Davis that he should be able to throw the ball again in six to eight weeks after his upcoming shoulder surgery. But he did also say it will take four to five months for him to get full clearance for all football activities.
Doing the math, as expected, Lawrence’s rehab should hit an important early stage before the first round of the draft rolls around on April 29. He also should be good to go for everything on the field around the middle of July, or just ahead of when rookies usually report to camp. That’s exactly why he wanted one unofficial practice session for the Jaguars before he goes into mental reps mode for them for most of the offseason.
Trevor Lawrence has an arm that puts him in the conversation with Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes
Maybe Lawrence needs to put himself in the “throw-off” with his downfield cannon against the AFC’s two reigning young guns soon. If there was any doubt about Lawrence’s deep arm, he capped off his pro day with a beautiful completed shot.
It’s hard to think that someone might be on the level of the Bills and Chiefs’ riflemen, but Lawrence has as much flow with his bombs as he does with his hair.
Trevor Lawrence drew a big non-Jaguars crowd to help in their own QB evaluations
The Jets, picking No. 2, had GM Joe Douglas there. The Falcons, picking No. 4, had both GM Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith there. The Panthers, picking No. 8, had offensive coordinator Joe Brady there, making the short trip from Charlotte.
All those teams are among several in 2021 needing to think about a long-term QB upgrade. The copycat league, which saw the Chiefs win a Super Bowl by bumping up from Alex Smith to Mahomes and saw the Buccaneers win a Super Bowl by jumping up from Jameis Winston to Tom Brady, now has to keep considering how to find the highest possible ceiling at the position.
Lawrence has the dream skill set, and it will become a reality only for the Jaguars. But for those other teams considering drafting a QB high in the first round, they need to know what kind of prospects they are getting in relation to what Lawrence can do with his arm and athleticism.