Trevor Lawrence debuts for Jaguars: No. 1 pick has highs and lows in first preseason action at QB


So far, mostly so good. The Jaguars kicked off their 2021 preseason on Saturday night, and they finally unveiled their No. 1 pick, heralded quarterback prospect Trevor Lawrence, in the process during their 23-13 loss to the Browns. Though coach Urban Meyer has insisted Lawrence isn’t guaranteed the team’s starting job for Week 1, Lawrence was first up in the rotation against the Browns, and he showed a good deal of promise after a bumpy start, especially considering he suited up for just two series in total.

Lawrence’s very first snap was his worst: After feeling pressure up front, the former Clemson star waited and waited for a passing lane, only to be swallowed up for a sack, briefly losing the football before recovering it. Things pretty much settled for the rookie after that, as Lawrence hung in the pocket to deliver a 10-yard first-down strike on 3rd-and-long, then wowed the crowd with a 35-yard downfield shot to Marvin Jones Jr. on Jacksonville’s second possession.

Critics will rightfully note that even on Lawrence’s big play, the QB probably waited too long to get rid of the ball. But those kinds of decisions can be sharpened; Lawrence showing off his ability to stand tall in the pocket, keep his eyes downfield and deliver a perfect ball to Jones should have Jaguars fans excited at what lies ahead.

The rookie didn’t return to the field for a third series, ending his debut without any scoring drives and then giving way to No. 2 Gardner Minshew, but that’s likely in part because the Jags want to preserve his health for the regular season. He finished 6 of 9 for 71 yards and a 90.5 passer rating. He and Jacksonville will return to the field on Aug. 23 in New Orleans for their second preseason matchup.