Adam Schefter feels Urban Meyer might not have come out of retirement had it not been for Trevor Lawrence.
ESPN’s Senior Insider said on the network’s NFL Live show Tuesday that because Jacksonville had the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, it made Meyer’s decision to come out of retirement a little bit easier.
“I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that Trevor Lawrence is sitting there available to him with the number one overall pick,” Schefter said. “If Jacksonville was picking sixth and seventh without the ability to get Trevor Lawrence, I wonder if Urban Meyer were to come back.”
But there is no doubt said Schefter that Lawrence will be the top pick in the 2021 draft.
“He was a drawing card for coaches and general managers alike,” the NFL Insider said. “The reason most people put Jacksonville atop the board in terms of head coaching vacancies and general manager vacancies was because of Trevor Lawrence. You have the ability to go pick the player that everybody agrees is going to be the number one overall pick in the draft.”
Lawrence led Clemson to a sixth straight ACC Championship this past season, while throwing for 3,153 yards and 24 touchdowns with just five interceptions. He completed 69.2 percent of his 334 passes and averaged a Clemson record 315.3 yards per game through the air in 2020.
The Cartersville, Ga., native also rushed for 203 yards and scored eight touchdowns. Lawrence led the ACC in passing yards per game and completion percentage this past season.
Many considered Lawrence to probably be the top pick in the draft after he led the Tigers to the 2018 National Championship as a freshman.
“It has probably been this way since he was in high school, as a senior coming out,” ESPN Senior NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper said. “Justin Fields was right there as well with Trevor Lawrence. They are both going to go real high. Trevor is going to go number one, that is why Urban Meyer is the head coach with the Jaguars.”
Lawrence concluded his Clemson career with a 34-2 (.944) record as a starter, the third-best winning percentage by a starting quarterback with at least 30 career starts since Division I split in 1978, trailing only Miami’s Ken Dorsey (.950) and USC’s Matt Leinart (.949), according to ESPN Stats & Info.
The quarterback also became the third Clemson player ever to throw for 10,000 passing yards in a career. Tajh Boyd (11,904) and Deshaun Watson (10,163) presently rank No. 1 and No. 2 in career passing yards in school history, while Lawrence’s 10,098 yards ranks third.
“You talk about a generational talent. As I mentioned, John Elway. You always knew he was going to be the number one pick,” Kiper said. “You always knew Andrew Luck was going to be the number one pick. Peyton Manning, now you have Trevor Lawrence.
“Lock him in (at number one). The Jacksonville Jaguars get their franchise quarterback. That is the way it fell. Jets are number two and can’t get Trevor Lawrence, obviously, with that spot. Trevor is a special entity and should be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL very early in his NFL career.”