Is Trevor Lawrence The Top 2021 NFL Draft Prospect?

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

Ask anyone that follows the NFL Draft process closely and one name will come up time and time again as we prepare to head into the 2021 NFL Draft season.  Trevor Lawrence is headed into his third season as the quarterback for Clemson with an NFL Draft stock that’s unlike what we’ve seen in recent past.  So we have to ask the question…Is Trevor Lawrence the top prospect heading into the 2021 NFL Draft?  Let’s dig in and find out.

Given the likelihood that Lawrence’s stock should remain where it is throughout the process, I thought we’d take a look at Trevor Lawrence to find out what makes him such a special Draft prospect, as well as attempt to project his future as an NFL quarterback.

 

The Background

Trevor Lawrence was the no. 1 rated recruiting prospect by 247sports and Rivals.  Lawrence enrolled at Clemson in January of 2018 following the College Football Playoff.  Heading into the 2018 season, the battle was on between Trevor Lawrence and Kelly Bryant, the presumptive starter.  

Kelly Bryant, who had backed up DeShaun Watson, felt like it was his opportunity.  Bryant had led the Tigers to the College Football Playoff, but lost to the University of Alabama 24-6.  Four games into the 2018 season, head coach Dabo Swinney made the decision to start Trevor Lawrence, Kelly Bryant left the team, and the rest was history.

Since, Trevor Lawrence led the Clemson Tigers to the National Championship in 2018.  Additionally, Lawrence was a Maxwell Award finalist, Manning Award finalist, and a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist in 2018.  In 2019, Trevor Lawrence’s production increased slightly, but many considered it to be a down year considering Clemson’s strength of schedule.

 

What I Like About Trevor Lawrence

When I watch Clemson’s game film, it’s easy to see why many consider Trevor Lawrence to be the top prospect heading into the 2021 NFL Draft season.

Arm Accuracy

On this play, Lawrence throws a dime in the endzone for the touchdown.  Plays like this is what pops the most for scouts.  His ability to place this ball right on the money seems so effortless.

Poise In The Pocket

I can make the argument that Trevor Lawrence has the best pocket presence of anyone in the 2021 Draft class.  His ability to remain calm on this play, despite the pressure from the middle, is what makes Trevor Lawrence the top 2021 prospect.

 

What I Don’t Like About Trevor Lawrence

As impressive as he is, I still have some major concerns in regards to Trevor Lawrence and his evaluation as an NFL prospect.  They’re minimal, but I feel like I’d be doing our readers a disservice if I didn’t mention them.

Consistency On Throws Downfield

While he does a great job of escaping pressure, I want to talk about the throw.  Although it’s early in the game, Lawrence has to put this ball in play.  His target is Tee Higgins, the best playmaker at receiver for the Tigers.  It’s 1st & 10 with plenty of game left, but this is a throw that I’ve seen Trevor make before.

2019 Production

Let’s address the elephant in the room.  Everyone expected Trevor Lawrence to have an incredible 2019 season.  While the Tigers made it to the College Football Playoff, where they eventually lost Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers, the stats weren’t there for Lawrence.  We saw six more touchdowns on nearly the same amount of throws, but there were also four additional interceptions.  Needless to say, we expected Trevor Lawrence to take a giant leap forward in 2019 and it was a disappointment when he didn’t.

 

The Competition

Trevor Lawrence has competition at the top to be considered the top prospect heading into the 2021 NFL Draft.  Justin Fields, the Georgia transfer that now leads the offense at Ohio State, is his competition at quarterback.

However, his biggest competition might come in the form of an offensive tackle.  Penei Sewell of Oregon has the opportunity to come off the board with the first overall pick.

Penei Sewell has already popped on tape enough to be the number two prospect on my 2021 NFL Draft Big Board.  With that being said, I do see a path where he can overtake Trevor Lawrence and become the first overall pick.

 

The Verdict

As it stands, Still have Trevor Lawrence as the top prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.  In my opinion, it’s his opportunity to lose.  However, the production level needs to take a giant leap forward in 2020.

Additionally, Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers need to continue to separate themselves in the standings.  An easy schedule, swell as a down ACC conference, didn’t do them any favors.

It’s still early, but Trevor Lawrence is the top prospect on my 2021 NFL Draft Big Board, which will debut soon.

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