Long before Trevor Lawrence carved up the Alabama defense in the 2018 National Championship game, most knew it was just a matter of time before he would become the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft. He did very little to disprove that train of thought during his entire freshman campaign.
Fast forward a year and we have another season’s worth of film. With a larger sample size there are some things that start to stick out. According to NFL Film expert Alex Rollins, Lawrence has a tendency to lock in on targets and miss reads.
Lawrence’s first half struggles were well documented last season. They can probably be chalked up to the pressure, but the fact remains, he was not nearly as sharp in those first seven games. However, he was as good as any quarterback in the country over the next seven games. Not so much in the final one though.
“Lawrence struggled mightily through his first seven games,”Rollins said. “On passes from within the pocket, not including screens, he completed 48% of his passes for 929 yards, nine touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Mind you, this wasn’t against the Auburn’s or Ohio State’s of the world but instead the Charlotte’s and Georgia Tech’s.”
Although, Rollins was quick to point out that Lawrence has the ability to be the great quarterback that some have already anointed him. That he can do things most can not.
“Lawrence has several elite traits that make him pop off of the screen,” Collins said. “He’s the ideal 6-foot-6, 220 pound body with surprising speed. He also has the ability to extend the play with that speed and make awkward off platform throws.”
Rollins pointed to one play against LSU early where Lawrence made a poor read that led to an incomplete pass. Clemson came back to the same play later in the game and Lawrence again, made a bad read. This time resulting in him getting him sacked. Had he made the right read it was a long touchdown.
He also detailed other similar plays during the season and playoffs where Lawrence missed a read or got fooled by a coverage or look.
Look, quarterbacks get fooled sometimes. Especially sophomore quarterbacks. Even the ones as good as Lawrence.
Lawrence still has another season to get better and improve upon his weaknesses. The Clemson staff is one of the best in the country. Expect them and Lawrence to make the necessary tweaks.