Trevor Lawrence – Quarterback, Clemson
Game Tape Watched: South Carolina (2018), Georgia Tech (2019), University of North Carolina (2019), Ohio State University (2019), Louisiana State University (2020), Wake Forest (2020)
Pros: There are many things Lawrence does so well as a quarterback that he doesn’t get as much credit for because the expectations are so high on him ever since making his grand entrance into college football. Trevor has great athletic ability, his long frame and solid speed gives him the ability to gain positive yards on designed runs and will tuck the ball and run when he needs to especially on 3rd and 4th down, he is not afraid to drop his shoulder and make contact with any defender. This forces defenders to have to play with multiple responsibilities leaving them more vulnerable to attack. The best attribute Lawrence has is his natural feel for the pocket, he feels when pressure is coming and takes the small steps in the pocket that buy him enough time to get the throw off. Most of the time, he knows when he has enough time to just step up and make the throw and when he needs to escape or roll out and for him to have that ability naturally allows him to still make his reads in the secondary. Lawrence does so well reading blitzes that he is able to get the ball out quickly already knowing where the weak spot is and leading his receivers to the open space. Trevor has good accuracy on quick and medium throws and throws down the middle of the field. I don’t normally like to judge a player’s competitiveness and leadership without seeing a game of them in person to see how they are acting on the sideline and with their teammates but from tape, Trevor seems very competitive and when things aren’t going his way, he seems to fight even harder to correct it.
Cons: There aren’t many things I don’t like about Lawrence, but as every player, there is always room for improvement. One thing he still seems to struggle with that jumps out on tape is his accuracy on deep balls, but specifically corner routes to the sideline, I don’t think it’s his arm but his feet, he keeps them squared toward the middle of the field rather than turning them a little bit making the throw even harder on himself because his shoulder has to overcompensate, leaving balls under thrown or way out of bounds. Another thing he needs to work on is his ball placement, he does a good job of getting the ball to the receivers but sometimes makes it a harder catch for them than it needs to be because he is throwing to the anticipated spot rather than naturally reading the receiver but in some offenses at the next level, they prefer that because it is the reason he is able to get the ball out so quickly. But when there is no pressure and he has time to take an extra second, he needs to read the receiver and place the ball at the best spot for him to get yards after the catch. Sometimes it seems that when he already knows where he is going with the ball, that he will be “lazy” in his technique once again making an easy throw harder to catch and sometimes the ball is way off because he throws off his back leg or does the jumping throw on the run which ends with an awful throw more times than not.
Final Thoughts: I think Lawrence is a tremendously talented quarterback who will go on to have a successful career in the NFL. He is a true junior and has proven that he is leaps and bounds ahead of where most quarterbacks are at this stage in their career. The most important thing is that he is a smart player, which is the most important attribute for any quarterback, and then his arm talent and ability to run the ball on top of that make him a talent that we haven’t seen in a long time in my opinion. In saying that, it is much harder to read defenses at the next level so Lawrence needs to understand that there are certain moments where he won’t be able to be so aggressive fitting balls into tight windows and has to move on to his 2nd and 3rd reads quicker because every window to throw gets tighter in the NFL and he doesn’t want to end up having a Winston like career, ending up an insurance policy for a team’s star quarterback, sorry Winston believers. His pocket presence is unbelievable to me and he can throw any ball with accuracy most of the time. While people show concern for his durability because of his frame, he has only had injury scares and has taken a lot of hard hits and doesn’t look too shaken up most of the time and whatever team takes him I’m sure will be able to put about 10 pounds on him, filling out his body perfectly.
Draft Projection: 1st round, 1st pick
Pro Comparison: Vinny Testaverde
Many of you who haven’t watched football for a long time might not even know who this is and the Lawrence fans that do might try to send me a lot of hate mail, but before you do, a comparison is just the style of player and Testaverde was very similar to Lawrence, almost being identical in size and both displayed pocket presence wanting to throw the ball most of the time, but having the ability to run the ball. I think Lawrence will be a far better quarterback and talent in the NFL but Testaverde did have a 20 year long career, starting half of them and making a couple Pro Bowls and had the same concerns about his frame coming out of Miami before putting on 15 pounds in the NFL. This is Trevor’s floor, I can’t wait to see if he can reach his ceiling.