JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars made the best and perhaps most important choice in franchise historical past after they selected Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the primary decide within the NFL draft Thursday evening.
The Jaguars made the announcement that’s been anticipated for months official shortly after the beginning of the draft, setting off a raucous celebration inside TIAA Financial institution Subject. A sold-out draft occasion, which included a crowd of 8,000, cheered wildly as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the rostrum to name Lawrence’s title.
Lawrence is the fourth quarterback drafted by the franchise within the first spherical in its 27 years of existence, becoming a member of Byron Leftwich (2003), Blaine Gabbert (2011) and Blake Bortles (2014).
The prospect to draft Lawrence was one of many elements that lured coach City Meyer out of the published sales space and acquired him again on the sideline. Jacksonville has 5 of the highest 65 picks, together with the twenty fifth decide later in Thursday’s opening spherical.
Regardless of who else the Jaguars usher in, none of them will examine to Lawrence. He’s now the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future. And Jacksonville is relying on him fixing the staff’s decades-old drawback on the all-important place.
Lawrence loved a stellar school profession at Clemson, going 34-2 because the starter and main the Tigers to a few Atlantic Coast Convention titles and the 2018 nationwide championship.
He accomplished 66% of his passes for 10,098 yards, with 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He additionally ran for 18 scores.
He completed second in Heisman Trophy balloting to Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith final season. Lawrence threw for 3,153 yards, 24 touchdowns and 5 interceptions whereas lacking two video games after testing constructive for COVID-19 in October.
The Jaguars locked up the No. 1 decide within the next-to-last week of the 2020 NFL common season, and Lawrence was the goal lengthy earlier than Meyer was employed to exchange Doug Marrone.
Meyer, normal supervisor Trent Baalke and proprietor Shad Khan by no means tipped the plain decide, however they didn’t attempt to disguise it, both.
“No negatives,” Baalke stated just lately. “All of the analysis we’ve performed, you’re at all times in search of the celebs to align if you’re taking a look at prospects, whether or not that be from a bodily, psychological, character facet, regardless of the case could also be. Along with his scenario, like many others on this draft, the celebs all align and that’s what you’re in search of.”
The Jaguars already gave Lawrence a playbook and held a number of Zoom classes with him. Even Khan sat in on a minimum of one, attending to know a participant he’s ready to ensure practically $40 million in a five-year deal.
Lawrence was the fourth quarterback Jacksonville drafted within the final 4 years, following Tanner Lee (2018), Gardner Minshew (2019) and Jake Luton (2020). Minshew and Luton stay on the roster, however Lawrence is predicted to begin from Day 1.
He needs to be a big improve for a franchise that has endured Gabbert, Chad Henne, Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler, Nick Foles, Minshew, Luton and Mike Glennon as starters over the previous decade.
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