Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow remembers what it was like when he was a rookie in the NFL back in 2019, trying to get acclimated to the speed of the game and everything else that comes with being a professional football player.
But Renfrow can’t imagine what his former Clemson teammate Trevor Lawrence is going through entering his first year in the league, being in the limelight with all eyes on him as a No. 1 overall draft pick and the face of the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise.
“It’s tough,” Renfrow said this week on “Out of Bounds” with William Qualkinbush and Kelly Gramlich on WCCP 105.5 FM The Roar.
“Trevor’s just trying to figure out everybody’s names still. I can’t imagine trying to lead a franchise and also have all the commentators talking about your every move. … Everyone’s going to be talking about his every single move – how he drinks his Gatorade on the sideline, how he interacts with the coach, how he interacts with the refs. So, it’s tough.”
As a rookie two years ago with the then-Oakland Raiders, Renfrow recorded 49 receptions for 605 yards and four touchdowns after being selected by the Raiders in the fifth round (149th overall pick) of the 2019 NFL Draft.
For Renfrow, one of the hardest parts of his transition from college football to the NFL was adjusting to the pace in which an NFL game is played.
“It was tough as a receiver just going out there and the speed of the game and how it’s played, the hash marks,” Renfrow said. “What people don’t realize, the NFL game is so much faster. You don’t get 12 possessions a game, you get seven or eight if you’re lucky. So, you have to make the most of those opportunities.”
Renfrow, now entering his third season in the league, was able to catch a little bit of Lawrence and the Jaguars’ nationally televised game against the New Orleans Saints on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” this past Monday.
Lawrence, who this week was officially named Jacksonville’s starting quarterback, completed 14-of-23 passes for 113 yards and had a passer rating of 73.3 while playing 30 snaps across six drives during the Jags’ 23-21 loss to the Saints.
While some have been critical of Lawrence in the preseason – like CBS Sports, which gave his performance against the Saints a C+ grade – Renfrow liked what he saw from Lawrence on Monday night and believes he is poised to have a big rookie campaign.
“From the little bit I saw (Monday) night, he played incredibly well,” Renfrow said. “Looked confident, looked like he was in control. I think he had a good two-minute drive there at the end, they missed the field goal. But he looked like he was ready to take the league by storm.”
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