98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The path to Trevor Lawrence, the superstar Clemson quarterback and consensus No. 1 overall pick, will begin and end in Duval. And all it took was a 41-17 blowout loss to the Chicago Bears, along with a New York Jets stunner over the Cleveland Browns, to clinch the Jacksonville Jaguars the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With the loss, the Jags dropped to 1-14 on the year, while the Jets’ victory pushed them to 2-13 on the year. It’s entirely possible that both teams finish the year at 2-14, but Jacksonville’s Week 16 clinch came by way of the Jaguars holding the strength of schedule tiebreaker over New York.
This will be the first time in the Jaguars’ franchise history that they’ve picked No. 1 overall.
And while Lawrence has yet to officially declare for the 2021 NFL Draft, and though there were rumors that he may stick with Clemson for another year, it’s believed that Lawrence will indeed leave the Tigers and embark on his pro career.
With the Tigers for the last three seasons, the 6-foot-6 Lawrence has compiled 88 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, and 9,698 passing yards in 39 total games. Lawrence has also posted a downright absurd 34-1 record as Clemson’s starter.
It’s a far cry from the Gardner Minshew II, Jake Luton, and Mike Glennon trio trotted out by the Jaguars in 2020.
Lawrence is a truly franchise-altering piece.
And the Jets absolutely Jets’d their way out of the race for him.
Beginning the year at 0-13, and at one point looking like the favorites for Lawrence, the Jets decided to instead rattle off two straight victories, including Sunday’s aforementioned upset over the 10-win Browns. And before they beat the Browns, Adam Gase’s team pulled off what felt like the impossible and defeated the then 9-4 Rams. Their wins came against teams with a combined 19 wins on the season! Everything about it was the classic anti-tank by a team that spent 14 weeks tanking.
The Jets could still get a franchise quarterback at No. 2, of course, with Ohio State’s Justin Fields considered by most to be the consensus No. 2 pick behind Lawrence.
The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft will be held on Apr. 29.