NFL and college football analyst Dan Orlovsky called Trevor Lawrence the best quarterback prospect since John Elway came out of Stanford in 1983.
Orlovsky worked Clemson’s 73-7 victory over Georgia Tech for ESPN this past Saturday, a game in which Lawrence threw for 404 yards and five touchdowns in playing just a little more than two quarters of football.
Elway was the first pick of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He went on to lead the Broncos to two Super Bowl Championships, while playing in three others. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler, earned three All-Pro honors, was the 1987 NFL Player of the Year, was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII and was a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2004.
“I think it is almost a guarantee that the Jets will have the first pick, and when they do it is a hundred percent certainty that they will draft Trevor Lawrence,” Orlovsky said Monday on ESPN’s Get Up Show.
Orlovsky has seen Lawrence play up close several times. In fact, Saturday’s Georgia Tech game was the fourth time he called one of Lawrence’s games. The former NFL quarterback says Lawrence is different than other prospects and it is not all about his football talents.
He said Lawrence’s talent is just his second-best attribute.
“This kid is obsessed with perfection,” Orlovsky said. “I asked him, because I did the national title game for the mega-cast, so I asked him this week on Wednesday, ‘Hey Trevor, what did you learn about yourself coming out of that national title game?’
“He said, ‘I knew I was getting away with things that were going to catch up to me. I knew that I wasn’t trusting my pocket and it was going to catch up to me and I knew that I was bouncing and causing my shoulders to go up and down and I knew that I was losing accuracy because of it. And I knew that at some point it was going to show itself and it showed itself in the national title game.’”
Lawrence’s honesty blew Orlovsky away. He was not expecting that kind of answer from a guy everyone considers to be the top prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft in April.
“Imagine being twenty years old, the best player in the nation, and saying that,” Orlovsky said. “The self-awareness to get better. The want to, to be become perfect in every little thing is at like a maniacally level.”
Lawrence is not perfect this year, but he is pretty close. The Clemson quarterback is completing 72.5 percent of his passes for 1,544 yards and 15 touchdowns so far. He has just one interception and his 192.7 passing efficiency rating ranks fifth in the country. He also ranks second nationally with 15 touchdown passes.
He leads the ACC in total passing yards, yards per game (308.8), touchdown passes, completion percentage, yards per attempt (10.4) and efficiency.
“He is ridiculously talented. He makes every kind of throw in the right situation,” Orlovsky said. “He is a crazy big athlete. He has high-end talent, high-end smarts, but he is obsessed at trying to become the absolute best at every little thing. That is why it is a no brainer.”
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