Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Seen as a talented passer that was destined for the big leagues ever since he was taking college visits, Lawrence didn’t exactly have the rookie season he wanted to.
The Clemson product went 3-14 as the starter while throwing for 3,641 yards, 12 touchdowns and tied for the league lead in interceptions with 17. His 17 picks were the most thrown by a No. 1 overall pick since Andrew Luck threw 18 in 2012. While it was tough sledding through the first year, Lawrence had to deal with the kind of adversity any rookie quarterback shouldn’t have to.
Apart from being charged with leading a franchise that had finished in last place in the AFC South three straight seasons, Lawrence also had to weather the Urban Meyer storm that clearly affected the team as a whole. New head coach Doug Pederson was a welcomed addition to Duval County, and fans hope he brings the kind of stability that allows for talented players like Lawrence to thrive.
During a recent appearance on “The SiriusXM Blitz with Brett Favre and Bruce Murray,” Pederson compared Lawrence to Favre — a Hall of Famer Pederson knows well.
“He’s such a mature young individual. Nothing really fazes him. Honestly, Brett, he kinda reminds me of you that way,” Pederson said, via SI.com.
“Nothing really fazed you when things got a little sideways. You were always the same yesterday and today and that’s the way Trevor is. Trevor doesn’t get too high, doesn’t get too low and I think that’s a great quality to have in a quarterback.”
Pederson has a point. Apart from arm talent, consistency and leadership, being able to block out the noise — both good and bad — is a quality every great quarterback has. Pederson apparently noticed this in Favre, whom he backed up during his time as a quarterback with the Green Bay Packers.
Lawrence’s rookie season may go down as the most dramatic of his career. Pederson even used the term “survived” when it came to how his quarterback was forced to operate in 2021.
“I think what has impressed me the most is just the maturity level with him. How he’s survived a year as a rookie with everything surrounding him that took place and how he was able to handle that,” Pederson said.
“I think now, stability around him with the team, with the coaching staff, but you see the maturity, you see the leadership in the locker room, you see what he’s been able to do even with the new additions to the offense and even to the team. That, to me, is kind of the one thing that stood out to me. You see the athleticism, you see the arm strength on tape, but when you get to know him and the kind of person he is. That part of it, his leadership, I think caught all our attention.”
It’s not fair to judge a rookie quarterback off his first season, and with a Super Bowl-winning head coach backing him, Lawrence could be poised to make a big jump in 2022.