Trevor Lawrence just accounted for 52 points by halftime against Georgia Tech where he’s making every throw imaginable. Bet the New York Jets or Giants would love to see their QBs lighting it up like this, but could he save them? Lawrence performs to this level in large part because talent around him allows him to show his skills. The Jets and Giants inability to draft around their quarterback would have Trevor Lawrence looking average, so don’t hold your breath. Lawrence should pull an “Eli Manning.”
Lawrence put up elite numbers if he didn’t play another snap in this game. It’s not just surface level football fans believing a talent like this can save lackluster NFL front office, but executives are fooled too. Trevor Lawrence can make any throw on the field and shows no fear of standing in the pocket to take a hit. Plenty fans of these bad teams want to project the Clemson star to plug that fearlessness into their squad, but it never happens.
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold showed that same fearlessness, yet he runs for his life every weekend. Darnold and Chandler Jones seem to draw a different reaction from “fearless young quarterbacks.” Not a bad thing to want college football’s best quarterback on the worst team in the NFL, but he has no chance. If you survey the NFL and want to find the most successful young NFL quarterbacks, you’ll also find the best supporting cast teams built around them. Team success and individual quarterback success in the NFL mostly go hand in hand.
Check out the job his teammates are doing.
FIVE FIRST-HALF TOUCHDOWNS FROM TREVOR LAWRENCE 😱 pic.twitter.com/iAW4oKDc52— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 17, 2020
Not an indictment on Trevor Lawrence
It’s not his fault he’s a superstar and the Jets might throw him into a fire he can’t escape. Only thing Lawrence can control is if he lets either New York team draft him. The days of o-linemen holding blocks like you saw above or receivers flying around the field would be over. NFL expectation is that Lawrence would need to “throw guys open” and “move his feet” around a collapsing pocket.
He’ll be the scapegoat the same way Sam Darnold was. Probably a better prospect than Darnold, given his elite ability to run the football, but they all get embarrassed. No quarterback, let alone a rookie, can succeed under the duress a Jets or Giants quarterback will see in 2021. They haven’t built a roster to let anyone properly develop.
The problem isn’t the asset teams are looking to acquire, it’s the order. Drafting a 21-year-old quarterback before obtaining a serviceable offensive line or establishing a running game is NFL suicide. Lawrence (regardless of his unique skillset) will be scared into a turtle shell and the New York media will do nothing to pull him out. He’ll become the latest scapegoat in Jets or Giants history.
Hopefully Trevor Lawrence and his agent can get him into a situation where he can get a real crack at the NFL. Every player deserves an opportunity, but can’t keep claiming it’s an opportunity just because a player goes No. 1.
Full Eli Manning
Unless Trevor Lawrence forces his way down the draft, he’ll be asked to play superhero. He’s probably praying the Atlanta Falcons grab the top pick so he can at least throw the ball to Julio Jones. We don’t feel sorry for anybody signing into $20-30 million guaranteed, but we can hope he gets into a situation to succeed. Some teams just can’t have nice things.