It’s that crazy time of the year again. That time leading up to the NFL Draft when some of the hottest takes seem to get made. Some of those from way out in left-field.
Unsurprisingly, this year is no different. After hearing for years that Trevor Lawrence is the top quarterback prospect to come along since Andrew Luck, or maybe even John Elway, now we’re suddenly supposed to believe all of that talk was false.
Over the past few weeks, one analyst after another has come out with reasons as to why Lawrence should not be the top pick in the upcoming draft. Some even going as far as saying he shouldn’t even be the first quarterback taken.
“The more you talk to evaluators around the NFL, they’ll tell you, ‘Let’s pump the brakes on this Trevor Lawrence kid,'” ESPN analyst Matt Miller said this week on Get Up. “While he has been anointed the past three years as the future and savior of football, Zach Wilson, a lot like Joe Burrow, had that ascension in his final year.”
In the same conversation, another ESPN draft analyst, Ryan Clark, says that while he thinks Lawrence is a very good quarterback prospect, he isn’t the can’t miss prospect so many others have made him out to be over the past few years.
“It’s not that I don’t think Trevor Lawrence is a good quarterback,” Clark said. “I just don’t think he’s a savior. I don’t necessarily think he’s a can’t miss, All-Pro, Hall of Fame level quarterback.”
However, his reasoning leaves a little to be desired. He uses the LSU loss in 2019 and the Ohio State loss this past season to justify his stance.
“I cannot get out of my mind Trevor Lawrence walking into the stadium and facing Joe Burrow and being totally out-played,” Clark said. “And then I can’t get out of my mind the next year him doing the same thing against Justin Fields. When you are a generational talent, you are a can’t miss prospect, when you are playing with people like you, it shows.”
There is an argument to be made that Clark is suffering from a case of selective memory. Sure, Lawrence was beaten twice in the playoff. He had arguably his worst collegiate game against LSU in 2019.
However, in the Tigers 49-28 loss to Ohio State, Lawrence threw for 400 yards and completed 69% of his throws. He wasn’t on the field when the Buckeyes scored five straight touchdowns in that first half.
Clark fails to mention what he did in playoff wins over Notre Dame in 2018. Or the phenomenal performance that same season in the 44-16 win over Alabama, on the games biggest stage, and as a freshman no less. Many of these same analysts were calling the 2018 Crimson Tide the greatest college football team of all time.
The ESPN analyst also fails to mention when Clemson was down 16-0 early on in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl, how Lawrence basically put the Tigers on his back and led them to a 29-23 comeback win. He rushed for more than 100 yards, threw for 259 yards and accounted for three total touchdowns.
At the end of the day, Clemson was 4-2 in the College Football Playoff with Lawrence starting at quarterback, Those were the only two losses of his career, and Clark is using those games, as if he hasn’t played in anymore, to justify a hot take. If we’re going to go that route now, why is it you never hear about Zach Wilson getting beat in Conway, South Carolina? And in the regular season at that?