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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / What are the keys for a second year leap by Trevor Lawrence

What are the keys for a second year leap by Trevor Lawrence

Publish Date: 08/11/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
CANTON, OHIO - AUGUST 04: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up prior to the 2022 Pro Hall of Fame Game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 04, 2022 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season was not a success. His coaching staff was terrible, and his talent was not up to par. This resulted in a disappointing season for the first overall pick. Lawrence finished the 2021 season 28th among 31 qualified quarterbacks and 31st overall in yards per attempt. Lawrence was the only quarterback with a negative EPA per playback (-0.02) for plays made from a clean pocket. Check out the top new sports betting sites for betting on the NFL.

Lawrence was not perfect, but he had no room for error. Although Lawrence was correct at times, more often than not, he wasn’t. There were also times when Lawrence did not do everything correctly and made something out of it.

Lawrence was put under tremendous pressure in Week 4, against the Miami Dolphins, when Lawrence was pressured on 44% of his dropbacks. However, he could still keep his pocket open and score some touchdowns down the field.

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Sports Info Solutions ranked Lawrence 24th in quarterbacks’ on-target rate (74.4%) and catchable rate (83.8%). His rates were almost the same as Tom Brady‘s (74.5%/83.7%), who had a decent season with similar target depths. Although Lawrence was not the most precise quarterback, he was often forced to make passes under challenging conditions.

Brady’s receivers did better when the passes were completed. Brady was the league’s leader in explosive plays exceeding 20+ yards, with 75. Lawrence was 17th with 43.

Although we love to see rookies progress through the season, the end of the year does not necessarily mean that there will be more productivity next year. In this instance, however, there were significant changes at year’s end. Lawrence played two of his best games in the four games following Urban Meyer’s firing.

Lawrence’s contributions to an offense are highlighted in Week 16 against the Jets and Week 18 against The Colts. Lawrence pushed the ball downfield against the Jets and made plays with receivers that were properly spaced and not too close together, as he did throughout the season. Lawrence will make intelligent decisions if you give him time and space.

The Colts game revealed the other side to the coin: a patient quarterback who will take whatever the defense gives him. Lawrence had a 5.78-yard aDOT in his regular-season finale. 72% of his passes were between 1-10 yards. However, he averaged 0.25 EPA per dropback for the season.

Lawrence will be able to have more consistency with Doug Pederson. Lawrence averaged 6.9 yards per attempt in his rookie season and was one of the top RPO quarterbacks. Per Sports Info Solutions, this ranked him fourth among 19 quarterbacks with at least 20 attempts. (Lawrence’s overall average was 6.05 yards per try).

Although the Jaguars won’t suddenly look like the 2021 Dolphins, more structure will be a benefit.

Lawrence is in a much better position now with Coach Pederson at the helm of the Jaguars. The offensive line and wide receiver positions are question marks, but if Lawrence still looks like he did last year, the Jaguars will have a massive problem in the future. If the running backs can get healthy, the Jags should be much improved.

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