Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
- Height: 6-6, Weight: 220
- 40 Time: 4.60
- Projection: First Round
Checking off every box imaginable on and off the field dating back to high school, Lawrence is considered a virtual shoo-in to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. He took over at Clemson just like he did at Carterville High School in the talent-rich state of Georgia, first wrestling the starting quarterback job away from an upperclassman just a few games into his true freshman season, and simply dominating thereafter. Lawrence went 52-2 in four years at Carterville and 34-2 at Clemson.
Quarterback wins are hardly the most reliable metric for predicting NFL success, but they are just the beginning of Lawrence’s eye-popping numbers. In 36 starts – including five playoff games – Lawrence completed 66.6% of his passes for 10,98 yards and 90 touchdowns against just 17 interceptions. He also rushed for another 943 yards and 18 scores, all but one of them coming over the past two seasons. Lawrence’s athleticism and whip of an arm made him virtually impossible to defend in Clemson’s RPO-heavy offense but he possesses the skill-set to fit any scheme.
- Tall, broad shouldered athlete with the frame to easily add another 10-15 pounds.
- Quick set-up with balanced feet, clean weight transfer and a smooth, over-the-top delivery with a snappy release.
- The ball explodes out of Lawrence’s hand when he wants to throw with velocity, which he often does on in-cutting slants and post routes, as well as deep outs and back-shoulder fades – all staples of every NFL offense.
- Lawrence complements his fastball with beautiful touch, showing the ability to drop the ball in the bucket down the seam and sideline.
- Limber athlete who accelerates quickly and possesses excellent top-end speed for the position, especially given his height. Impressive accuracy on the move, often luring rushers towards him before firing accurate passes around or over them.
- Shows impressive poise and spatial awareness of the bodies around him, ducking and sliding and buying time while generally keeping his eyes downfield.
- Showed toughness in brushing off a big hit ruled targeting in the second quarter of the 2019-2020 Fiesta Bowl to spark a comeback after falling behind 16-0 to Ohio State, throwing the game-winning touchdown with 1:49 remaining.
- Mature beyond his years. Two-time ACC Honor Roll member and won the 2019 Tim Bourret Award, given to the player who best represents himself, his teammates and Clemson University in the media. Clemson’s AFCA Good Works team selection in 2020.
- Takes more risks with the ball than his 17 career interceptions would suggest, staring down his target, at times, and trusting his receivers and his own arm to fit passes through tight windows.
- Further, Lawrence needs to do a better job of protecting the ball in the pocket and when running, fumbling 10 times over his career, losing seven of them, including a career-high five in 2020 (three lost).
- Consistently throws strikes but doesn’t show the elite accuracy to paint the corners, too often forcing receivers to alter their gaits to collect slightly off-target passes, sapping some run-after-catch possibilities for teammates.
- Tested positive for Covid-19 in late October 2020 and will no doubt be put through a battery of medical evaluations as a result. Missed two games (Boston College, Notre Dame) while recovering.
John Elway, Hall of Fame, Denver Broncos: The expression “generational talent” gets thrown around a lot in the media but scouts rarely use it, if ever. They may have to with Lawrence, however, as there simply aren’t many quarterbacks in history with his combination of size, athleticism and arm. It is impossible to forecast if Lawrence will ever come close to matching Elway’s success in the NFL but he projects similarly as a No. 1 overall candidate and future franchise cornerstone.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)