CLEMSON — All signs continue to point to Trevor Lawrence being the No. 1 overall pick in next month’s NFL Draft.
The former Clemson quarterback is still recovering from labrum surgery on his non-throwing arm. But Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer — the holder of the top pick in April’s draft — continues to speak highly of Lawrence.
Making an appearance on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Friday, Meyer talked about the quarterback’s competitiveness.
“There’s a lot of boxes he checks,” Meyer said. “The No. 1 that I’ve always looked for in a quarterback and we’ve been fortunate. … You look at the career that I had in college, and the one thing we’ve always had is a great quarterback. They might look different. They might play different. But that position, you can’t function without them. No. 1, his competitive spirit. He’s a competitor. He’s 34-2 as a starter. He’s an extreme competitor.
Meyer watched Lawrence play live at the 2020 College Football Playoff semifinals and also attended Lawrence’s 52-throw workout in front of representatives from 17 NFL teams on Feb. 12.
While the Jags are expected to pick Lawrence, Meyer still has a starting quarterback on his current roster. Gardner Minshew was drafted by Jacksonville in the sixth round in 2019 by Jacksonville. The Washington State University product has thrown 11 interceptions and 37 touchdowns with 21 starts in two seasons.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported last week teams have called Jacksonville about Minshew’s availability but Meyer isn’t making any moves yet. The coach is still getting to know Minshew before he makes any moves.
“There is a lot of anticipation about the first pick, and I understand there is a lot of conversation out there,” Meyer said. “But there has been no decisions made. Gardner has done some very good things here in Jacksonville. And he’s a competitive maniac, which I really appreciate that about him. So there have been no decisions made. Yesterday was the first lengthy meeting we’ve had, and we’re going to continue that here for the next few weeks.”
Ever since Clemson fell in the CFB semifinals to Ohio State in January, Lawrence has been at the top of mock draft boards. ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay both have the quarterback going to Jacksonville.
Things are still trending in that direction.
“He’s a tough guy,” Meyer said. “I witnessed that live when I watched him play against Ohio State in the playoffs, not this past year, a year ago. His intelligence, his football intellect, his leadership, and then his ability to adapt in the spread offense. He can do it all. He’s 5-for-5 in those areas.”