Not so fast, says new Jaguars head coach and legendary college football play-caller Urban Meyer.
During an interview last week with USA TODAY Sports host Mackenzie Salmon on "Sports Seriously,” Meyer explained why Lawrence hasn’t yet been penciled in as the Jaguars' Week 1 starting quarterback.
"He's not ready yet, but he doesn't have to be ready yet," Meyer said. "We got a long training camp coming up. He's probably advanced maybe a little quicker than we would've thought, so which was a positive. One thing that we worked on — when we made a decision that Trevor was going to be our No. 1 pick, we went from the evaluation stage to the preparation stage. And that means that I want to see — I can't remember the exact date, but we started installing the playbook with him well before the draft. So you can see the retention, he's got a really good work ethic and he's progressed very well."
Lawrence will be the starter week 1
The key phrase that Urban Meyer says in the quote is “but he doesn’t have to be ready.”
Trevor Lawrence has only had rookie mini camp and the team's full mini camp to begin learning the Jaguars playbook.
As Meyer says Lawrence is ahead of schedule and the head coach is simply covering his bases by stating that the number one draft pick is not ready “right now” to start an NFL game.
The coach and rookie quarterback still have a full training camp and pre-season to prepare for Week 1 of the regular season.
The NFL's rumor mill continues to link Jags backup QB Gardner Minshew in trades, so it appears the Jacksonville front office sees Lawrence as their Week 1 starter even if Meyer does not.
A work in progress
Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who has worked with several rookie QBs over his career, spoke to reporters at Jacksonville’s recent mini camp about the first-year development plan for Trevor Lawrence.
"I think it's important to manage it on a, basically, player-by-player situation. And it could be organizationally, it could be just — in our case, with (Seahawks quarterback) Russell (Wilson) at the time, it was Russell and how much we could kind of bring him along. And you want to make sure that you can give them an opportunity to be successful, and it's important for a new quarterback to be able to play fast, to not think — the game's already hard enough as it is at that quarterback position, so you want them to have a great handle on the things that you're asking 'em to do. If you overload 'em, then you can slow them down and you can stretch them down. So I think it's important, like, how much can they handle."
It would be a shock not to see Trevor Lawrence, the player named the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, not line up under center in Week 1 for the Jaguars.