Lawrence ‘different,’ will make easy transition to NFL

Lawrence ‘different,’ will make easy transition to NFL

Football

Lawrence ‘different,’ will make easy transition to NFL

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Quarterback consultant and former NFL quarterback Jordan Palmer envisions Trevor Lawrence making a relatively easy transition to the next level, considering he was the face of college football over the past few years and has been in the spotlight for so long dating back to his high school days when he was a five-star recruit and the No. 1 overall prospect in the country.

Palmer, who was a member of several different NFL teams from 2007-14, joined The Jim Rome Show this week to talk about Lawrence as he prepares to become the face of an NFL franchise – almost assuredly the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are expected to select the former Clemson quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft.

“I think he’s different than a lot of guys in that in my opinion, if he goes to Jacksonville, I actually think the sum – like, adding up all the pieces – the sum of the entire experience – the media, the pressure, all the expectations – I actually think the sum of it will be kind of equal to what it was, and maybe even feel smaller,” Palmer said. “Not because he came from Clemson, but because he’s been kind of the face of college football for a few years now, and the expectations and the media.”

Because Lawrence is well accustomed to being the center of attention, and used to being under the microscope with people paying attention to his every move on and off the field, Palmer believes Lawrence is more prepared to handle the pressures of being an NFL star than many of the other quarterbacks he has coached in the past.

“I actually think when he transitions, some elements of it are going to be the same or easier,” Palmer said. “So, I love all the experience he’s had – being one of the most highly recruited kids ever, all the eyeballs and the target on his back and all that stuff for the last four or five years – I actually think that all of that is going to make his transition easier. And no doubt there’s going to be a bunch of new stuff for him, like there is for anybody going from college to pro. But I actually think he’s better positioned to handle all of it than a lot of the guys I’ve worked with in the past. Not because he’s better or worse – just because he’s had so many reps that are relevant, that I think it’s going to really help with his transition.”

Essentially a lock to be the No. 1 overall pick, Lawrence did not need to participate in a Pro Day. However, the 2020 first-team All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist chose to throw in front of NFL scouts, coaches and other personnel last Friday, anyway.

The way in which Lawrence has opted to go through the pre-draft process reminds Palmer of how his older brother, former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer, went through the process when he came out of Southern Cal before being taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the first overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft.

“I think the biggest thing with Trevor is he’s got – and it’s pretty binary, you’re either/or on this – where you either go through this process and you try and do it exactly the way that everybody advises you and what you think is perfect and don’t slip up,” Jordan Palmer said. “That’s one way to go through this process. And then some guys go through this process and say, ‘I’ve got nothing to hide. Give me a ball. Let me play.’ And for example, my brother, Carson Palmer, he was a lock to go No. 1, and he played in the Senior Bowl and threw and ran at the combine because that mindset of, ‘Well, I mean, everyone else is doing it. I’ve got nothing to hide. Give me a ball,’ and Trevor certainly has that same mentality.

“So, it was never an issue. It was never a conversation. He said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s do a full Pro Day. Whenever it makes sense for everybody to do it, I’ll be ready to go,’ and he showed up and he was.”

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