Perhaps the winningest quarterback in amateur football history is primed to enter his sophomore stint as a pro.
The man we speak of is Trevor Lawrence, who coasted to a 55-2 high school record before winning 29 straight contests to begin his college career. Lawrence was an unflappable force, but even the greatest winners have their losing stretches, and for Lawrence, his brush with hardship came right at the beginning of his rookie NFL season.
For the first time in his career, opposing players were just as big, fast, and quick-witted as he was, and the majority of Lawrence’s initial face-offs with football’s finest left him on the wrong end of the affair. The 2021 No. 1 overall pick went 3-14 as a rookie in Jacksonville, throwing five more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (12). That equaled his pick total in three years at Clemson.
But his season wasn’t all bad. Lawrence flashed some bright spots, dishing out 3,641 passing yards and completing more “big” passes (20 yards or more) than the likes of Carson Wentz, Lamar Jackson, Jared Goff and Ryan Tannehill. He also established himself as one of nine QBs in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards and three TDs in his first NFL start.
Lawrence’s moments of fortitude were signs of eminent excellence according to “First Things First” cohost Nick Wright, who expects a supreme second season is just around the corner.
“I expect a massive Year 2 from him,” Wright forecasted on Wednesday’s episode of the show.
“He has a real head coach,” Wright reasoned. “They are an actual frisky team. Have you seen the training camp reports from Travis Etienne? And while they’ve overpaid for their wide receivers, at least they have a legitimate trio of receivers. All of that, plus Trevor Lawrence played his best game of the year to end the season to end the Colts’ playoff hopes. I think they’ll be hovering around .500 all year. And I expect Trevor Lawrence to be the same No. 1 player he was at every other phase of his life. Going into Week 15, he’ll be a story: Could the Jaguars sneak into the playoffs?”
Kevin Wildes didn’t place as much faith in Lawrence as his cohost, but he did see him posting an output similar to the one Mac Jones did last season. Which in his mind, is excellent in itself.
“I think Doug Pederson has got some revenge games circled on the schedule,” Wildes said.
“You’ve got the Carson Wentz-Doug Pederson revenge game in Week 1, and then they go to Philadelphia — Doug Pederson’s going to have the Eagles shirt on underneath and then rip it off at halftime. I can see them getting those wins.
“Here’s the other thing: That defense got them the win last season at the Colts. I think it’s going to be improved. They got Travon Walker in the draft, I think they’ll go up from 27th in the league last season. And I believe in Trevor Lawrence. Vegas has them at 6.5 wins this season, take the over.”
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