Trevor Lawrence was the top overall NFL draft pick in 2021. He was widely viewed as a generational talent, and the Jacksonville Jaguars were hopeful the young quarterback would turn the franchise around.
Few players have started their NFL careers with the expectations Lawrence faced, but last season he began to show why he was the first player taken in the draft. He threw for more than 4,000 yards in 2022 and tossed 25 touchdowns.
Lawrence helped lift the Jaguars to the playoffs and led the team to an impressive comeback victory in the wild-card round against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Doug Pederson, who won Super Bowl LII when he was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, was credited with helping Lawrence improve during his sophomore campaign.
Pederson is now entering his second year with the Jaguars and said that Lawrence is meeting the high expectations that were set for him.
“He’s the real deal,” Pederson told Sky Sports in reference to Lawrence. “He’s a sponge on the practice field, he’s a great communicator with us as a staff, great leader. He’s the guy we all anticipated he was, and he is. We’re excited for that. He’s still young. He’s got a lot of ball ahead of him.”
Lawrence threw for more interceptions than touchdowns during his rookie season under then-head coach Urban Meyer. The former national championship-winning coach was fired during the season following a 2-11 start.
The Jaguars were a surprise team in 2022. But, following Lawrence’s strong sophomore season and with the addition of veteran wide receiver Calvin Ridley and others, the squad heads into 2023 with raised expectations.
In August, Pederson said he was pleased with how Lawrence has progressed in his second year in the offensive system.
“The biggest thing that I’ve seen with Trevor, now going on two years, from where we had him a year ago in the offseason to today, just his confidence is incredible,” Pederson said via the Jaguars’ official website.
“It’s off the charts. He’s put the past behind him, he’s focused on the future, and really embraced this opportunity with this football team. The confidence level with him is extremely high, as it should be.”