Is the hype surrounding Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence legit?
Lawrence continues to be the hot topic this postseason. Everything from his shoulder surgery to whether or not he will be the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft has been over-analyzed.
Things weren’t any different on Friday when NFL draft expert Matt Miller stated there are some in the league that are starting to feel that Lawrence isn’t the best prospect headed into the draft. Instead, according to Miller, some feel that quarterback Zach Wilson out of BYU is the better prospect, despite the fact that he doesn’t feel that way.
“Right now, I think, yes,” Miller said. “Trevor Lawrence will be the first pick. The Jaguars know what they’re doing, but there is at least a discussion about Zach Wilson, as maybe he is the best quarterback in this class. I don’t personally have it that way, but NFL evaluators are starting to push back against the consensus that Trevor Lawrence is the sure-thing No. 1 quarterback.”
Miller also says that Wilson is starting to get some comparisons to another great young quarterback in the league and that’s why several teams say they have Wilson ahead of Lawrence. However, he did make it clear that he doesn’t feel this will change where Lawrence gets selected on April 29.
“I’ve talked to four or five teams at this point that actually have Zach Wilson as the top quarterback in this draft,” Miller said. “They cite the arm talent, the ability to make throws down the field, what he does off-platform as an athlete. The name Patrick Mahomes gets brought up every time you talk to people in the NFL about Zach Wilson. He is a little bit smaller, but the arm talent is there. You don’t ever want to compare anyone to Patrick Mahomes, who is the greatest quarterback on planet Earth, but you see some similarities to their game. I think that’s why people are getting really excited about Zach Wilson.”
ESPN analyst Field Yates does not feel the same way though. He joined Paul Finebaum on Friday and he has an entirely different opinion on the subject. He did have some interesting thoughts on why others seem to be leaning this way now though.
“I don’t know,” Yates said. “Sometimes what I think happens, Paul, especially this year where all of us are largely operating within our own home and there are less events taking place. Whether it’s no combine, whether it’s the number of events that have been canceled, or the reduced schedule we’re seeing in some of the sports that normally carry us at this time, is we just have too much time on our hands.”
“I think we spend so much time analyzing something that the old paralysis by analysis kicks in. You spend so much time watching Trevor Lawrence that you think to yourself, ‘Do I need to find a wart that doesn’t exist?’ Maybe some people fall into that trap.”
Yates is not trying to make the former Clemson quarterback out to be perfect, saying that, like many other young players entering the league, Lawrence could improve in at least one or two areas. Although, Yates also feels that all the hype around Lawrence is completely justified.
“I’ve spent a lot of time studying Trevor Lawrence for a project I’m working on, which we’ve all seen Trevor for three years,” Yates said. “He’s such an incredible player. I went into that project wondering, ‘Am I going to find something in really examining him that I might look at and say that’s a clear area of growth for Trevor Lawrence?’ Of course, every rookie player is going to have areas he can improve upon, but in terms of readiness at the age of 21- or 22-years old, I think the hype is all fair, legitimate, and real.”
Yates says he isn’t buying any of the talk that Lawrence isn’t worthy of the number one overall pick.
“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he will be the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the Jaguars aren’t going to think twice about it,” Yates said.