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The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock for the 2021 NFL Draft, and now they have a player in mind who could fill the role of “franchise quarterback.”
That player is Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, who made it official on Wednesday morning: he’s heading to the NFL in 2021.
A day after wrapping up a second-place vote in the Heisman Trophy race to Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith, Lawrence declared for the draft, putting the pressure on the Jags, who are in need of a boost after a dismal 1-15 season.
Jacksonville fired coach Doug Marrone on Monday, so whoever becomes the next head coach for the Jags will likely also get his hands on Lawrence as the team’s new starting quarterback.
“Looking back on it I hope my legacy at Clemson is that I was a great teammate and a great person overall,” Lawrence said in a “thank you” video he posted on Twitter.
“More than football, more than how I played each game is just how I treated people. I want that to be the main thing that I’m known for and I think over the last three years that’s the thing I’ve kept as a priority — just treating people well and being a good person.”
Jacksonville owner Shad Khan said Monday that he’s not opposed to taking a franchise quarterback with the first overall pick, especially after seeing the success that Joe Burrow had with the Bengals before he went down with a season-ending injury in late November.
“I think we have a great group of young players. Obviously we’re going to have a lead franchise quarterback,” Kahn told reporters Monday.
“You can’t have a mindset [of] this is a rebuild and it’s going to take time, etc. We have to have a mindset [that] we’re building for the long haul, but you have to be able to win at the same time.”
It’s the first time in franchise history that Jacksonville will have the first overall pick in the NFL draft.
In his time at Clemson, Lawrence was dominant, going 34-2 as a starter. His only losses came in two NCAA Playoff games, one to LSU in the championship as a sophomore and one to Ohio State in the semifinals as a junior.
He won a national title as a freshman, taking down Alabama. He did miss a pair of games in 2020 due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Projected No. 1 pick @Trevorlawrencee announces he’s leaving Clemson and declaring for the NFL draftpic.twitter.com/WDAGevTIB9
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 6, 2021