Trevor Lawrence pro day: Biggest takeaways, highlights from Clemson star’s showcase

Trevor Lawrence pro day: Biggest takeaways, highlights from Clemson star's showcase
Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) attempts a pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence didn’t really need to have a pro day — much less one he held a month earlier than anticipated — to cement his destiny as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Nevertheless, Lawrence took the field anyway on Friday and wowed scouts and NFL talent evaluators in attendance.

Aside from a few off-target throws, Lawrence was extremely impressive, living up to his status as one of the best pure prospects in NFL Draft history.

Below we’ll take a look at some of the stud signal-caller’s best throws and what the biggest takeaways were from his showcase at Poe Indoor Stadium.

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Trevor Lawrence shines despite limited prep time

Clemson’s pro day is scheduled for March 11, which would’ve given Lawrence plenty of time to put together a workout and plan out precisely how every detail would go.

Instead, it was actually Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer who suggested Lawrence bump up his date, according to a report from NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread. It was because of the fact that Lawrence needs surgery on his left, non-throwing shoulder, which entails a lengthy recovery period that threatened to bump up too close to the 2021 NFL season.

“You can wait until the March 11 pro day, but now your (recovery) is getting near August, because it’s a five to six month injury,” said Meyer of his conversations with Lawrence about the pro day, per the NFL.com report.

Meyer suggested Lawrence didn’t even need to throw at all if he didn’t want to. This all but guarantees the Jaguars are going to select Lawrence first overall in the draft, if he’s having these types of conversations and consultations with him about his decision-making leading up to April 29, when Jacksonville’s franchise will be changed forever.

Read More: Jaguars draft picks: Top 2021 selections, prospects to target after Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence’s size, physicality is as advertised after pro day measurements

Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) attempts a pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, what college players are listed as in terms of height and weight can be deceptive, only for NFL Scouting Combine officials and teams to wind up disappointing when they actually weigh in and get measured.

This wasn’t the case with Lawrence, whose significant stature, massive hand size and overall impressive frame were as advertised, per NFL Network’s Jane Slater:

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler actually expected Lawrence to be a bit bulkier:

No matter. Not a huge red flag — and it certainly didn’t prove to be any hindrance on Lawrence’s velocity.

As Lawrence showed in college and during his pro day workout, he’s plenty mobile and athletic enough to extend passing plays with his legs or pick up explosive gains on the ground when he’s scrambling or executing the occasional designed run.

Sometimes, top NCAA prospects can have either their numbers inflated by a strong supporting cast, or have their deficiencies masked by having such a decided talent advantage over the opposition. Pro days don’t always help clarify those things since a QB is essentially throwing without having to negotiate a defense.

What a pro day does expose is whether a quarterback’s game film matches up with what’s seen in person. This is the first time Meyer and the new Jaguars regime is getting a concentrated, up-close look at their prospective QB of the future.

Not that there was much of a doubt, but Lawrence showed exceptional velocity, touch and movement skills, with accuracy in the run and only a few tosses that went awry in the red zone. Again, though, it’s more of an “eye test” situation at these pro days, and Lawrence passed that with flying colors, both in how he measured in physically and how the ball zipped all around the yard.

Read More: Trevor Lawrence to have surgery on non-throwing shoulder

Trevor Lawrence pro day: QB makes highlight-reel throws to cement 2021 NFL Draft status

OK, so what did Lawrence do that was so special and showed he deserves to be a cut above other top 2021 draft class QBs like Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance?

How about carrying out a play-action fake, rolling left at a pretty good clip and rifling off a 25-yard rope on the run:

Maybe staying in the pocket is more your speed? Well, Lawrence did that and absolutely gunned another strike deep down the sideline:

OK, Duval County probably wants to see Lawrence uncork that deep ball, which he’ll be laying out there for the likes of D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr., right? NFL Brasil has you covered.

As is customary for great entertainers, though, Lawrence saved his best for last.

This masterpiece of a throw needs to be seen from multiple angles, as Lawrence flawlessly executes a scramble drill, resets his feet and launches the ball over 60 yards downfield with touch and exemplary accuracy:

Those are all pretty ridiculous, no?

Read More: 5 reasons why Urban Meyer will thrive as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach

Early pro day shows Trevor Lawrence’s competitiveness, confidence and maturity

2021 NFL mock draft: 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence
Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) warms up prior to the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who’s been anointed a football version of “the chosen one” from the time he was a high school quarterback could easily get a big head, or not know how to handle the spotlight. Lawrence has proven uniquely adept at dealing with all the media attention and hype, reflected in his leading Clemson to a national title as a true freshman and to the College Football Playoff the next two seasons after that.

But that was before. Lawrence is having to navigate a complicated pre-draft process, but taking the changes in stride, when he could’ve easily blown off something as trivial as a pro day for someone of his stature, shows that he can go with the flow and adapt.

“We bumped it up a month. His response to throwing early was, ‘Yeah, why wouldn’t I?'” Jordan Palmer, Lawrence’s quarterback coach, told NFL.com about their deliberations about the pro day before it happened.

Why would Lawrence even bother throwing? Well, if there were any question as to whether he wants to be great and is ultra-competitive, that had to be put to rest by his decision to take the field on Friday in the first place.

Lawrence prided himself on, in his words, “showing I can adapt, adjust, prepare short-notice and still put on a pretty good day,” per NFL.com.

Ah, and Lawrence is even modest about how good he was throwing the ball, yet acknowledging he did miss some targets and definitely has room for improvement. The situation called for him to establish quick chemistry with his receivers in a limited amount of time based on the route concepts they wanted to show off.

From the standpoint of physical tools, arm talent and intangibles, it looks like the Jaguars will get a quarterback in Lawrence who really is the real deal and can lift the organization to championship heights.

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