How Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance

How Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Mac Jones, Davis Mills have improved: Second-year QB scouting reports, what’s next

How Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, The 2021 NFL draft class saw five quarterbacks selected in the first 15 picks:

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Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones. All of them had at least two starts as rookies, as did third-rounder Davis Mills.

Overall, the results were as expected: first-year quarterback struggles. Where do things stand for the six second-year quarterbacks entering the 2022 NFL season?

Can Lawrence and Wilson (once he returns from surgery on his right knee injury) live up to their top-two-pick hype,

and will Lance smoothly jump into a full-time starting role? Will Fields, Jones and Mills all get more acclimated to the pro game?

I pulled out my 2021 draft book and looked up the scouting reports for all six QBs, then dug in on where each did and did not improve.

Were the same issues still there for each quarterback? What stood out on tape? And in what areas is each still improving?

Let’s look back on the 2021 pre-draft evaluations and identify how all six QBs have developed after one season in the NFL, starting with the No. 1 pick.

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Rookie season stats: 3,641 passing yards, 12 TDs, 17 INTs, 33.5 QBR

The original pre-draft scouting report: “Lawrence is a tall, well-built quarterback who continues to develop into his frame.

He has very good decision-making skills, especially in clutch situations. He is a long-levered QB with surprising twitchiness, a

nd he has good release quickness and top-tier velocity as a passer, driving the ball vertically with ease. Although Lawrence is still working

on the consistency of his footwork and ball placement — which can be a bit streaky at times — his overall touch, timing and anticipation are very good.

He knows how to lead receivers open and spots the ball very well on back-shoulder throws, getting excellent velocity on deeper throws outside the numbers.

And he has solid pocket mobility for such a tall quarterback, with quickness in the pocket and a feel for pressure. As a runner,

Lawrence is a long strider with very good speed build-up when he takes off. In all, he is a once-in-a-decade type quarterback prospect.”

What I saw in his first season: It’s easy to look at raw production and make conclusions, but even though Lawrence’s rookie-season stat line is unimpressive,

I’m not sure there are many QBs who could have even accomplished what he did, given the status of the Jacksonville team.

Turmoil within the franchise, a midseason coaching change and a lack of talent around him on offense put Lawrence in a tough spot.

And the Jaguars’ offense system just didn’t seem to fit him. Some of the struggles certainly fall on him, but we shouldn’t discount his situation.

You could still see the physical traits and abilities during Year 1 that we saw when he was at Clemson. A lot of arm talent. Great mobility.

The suddenness to create when things break down. And a high level of compete. The Jaguars’ protection for him was middle of the pack (60.4% pass block win rate,

18th in the NFL), but Lawrence lacked true playmakers around him. Jacksonville’s 39 drops were last in the league —

and seven more than the second-worst team — and its 4.6 yards after the catch per reception ranked 29th.

Lawrence hung in there, which stood out to me because he had never really struggled in his football career.

He went 34-2 in 36 collegiate starts over three seasons, and he was five-star recruit when he landed at Clemson back in 2018.

Then he had to endure a 3-14 season with Jacksonville to kick off his pro career. Through it all, he kept his competitiveness and never seemed overwhelmed —

and he didn’t fold. Can he maintain that confidence as the team keeps rebuilding?

Where he can still improve: I was surprised how long Lawrence was holding on to the ball in 2021. He averaged 2.87 seconds before throwing,

which ranked ninth slowest in the NFL, and I think it was a byproduct of not truly buying into the system, though the pass-catchers’ inability to get open certainly played a part.

Lawrence wasn’t processing fast enough, but he also wasn’t trusting what he was seeing. He was indecisive, and it led to mistakes —

he tied Matthew Stafford for the most interceptions in the league at 17.

I’m curious to see how new coach Doug Pederson tailors the offense to Lawrence’s skill set, especially now that he has a full year of pro experience under his belt.

As I said, we still saw all the elite traits. But he needs to get comfortable in the offense and trust his progressions.

And while it’s definitely important that he stays confident in his ability to make any throw, I’d like to see him better recognize when it’s time to check down,

take a sack or throw the ball away. NFL quarterbacks can’t turn the ball over as much as he did, and a lot of it came from forcing something that wasn’t there.

Beyond the new coaching staff, the Jaguars made steps toward improving his supporting cast, too. Whether you think he was paid too much or not,

there’s no doubt receiver Christian Kirk will help Lawrence. He gets uncovered quickly and has the ability to generate yards after the catch.

Tight end Evan Engram shares those traits and will be an impact player as long as he stays on the field. I love what that duo can do for Lawrence in the middle of the field,

providing him with security blankets. Also remember that running back Travis Etienne Jr. will return after missing his entire rookie season.

Lawrence completed just 62.8% of his pass attempts targeting running backs last season, 30th out of 31 qualified QBs. That’s a problem.

Etienne caught 102 passes during his Clemson career, so I think he’ll be a great addition for Lawrence, especially considering the familiarity from being teammates in college.

It can be tougher at times for tall, long-levered quarterbacks to connect with RBs when they’re forced to quickly adjust their feet and deliver at the last second on some swings,

screens, dump-offs, angle routes and checkdowns, but there’s no arguing that Lawrence has to hit the gimme throws and keep the offense on schedule.

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149 thoughts on “How Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance

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