Potential landing spots for Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft
It’s not too early to start thinking about the 2021 NFL Draft—certainly not when almost nothing else is going on in the world of sports during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 NFL Draft came and went last week, so now it’s time for forward thinking. Next April’s festivities will be here before we know it, hopefully on the heels of a football season that takes place unscathed. And when it is time for the next class’s prospects to take their talents to the next level, all eyes will be on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence likely would have been ahead of even Joe Burrow on the 2020 big board, but the Cartersville, Ga. native is not draft eligible until next year. When he is, where could he go? Let’s take an early look at the options….
The Steelers’ quarterback depth chart currently consists of Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, and Devlin Hodges. Roethlisberger is 38 years old and injury prone. Neither Rudolph nor Hodges resembles anything close to a franchise quarterback. Pittsburgh probably won’t be any good in 2020, either, so its draft position should be such that Lawrence could be attainable.
Jacksonville signed Nick Foles to a lucrative four-year contract prior to the 2019 campaign. But that experiment ended disastrously when Foles got hurt, lost the job to Gardner Minshew II, and was then traded to the Chicago Bears earlier this spring. The Jaguars are by no means committing to Minshew as a long-term solution, so Lawrence is definitely in play.
The Colts’ quarterback situation has been in flux ever since Andrew Luck’s abrupt retirement in 2019. They clearly aren’t sold on Jacoby Brissett after signing Philip Rivers to a one-year deal this offseason. Rivers is 38 years old and could be one and done in Indianapolis. Jacob Eason was taken in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, but he is hardly a slam dunk for success at the next level.
Foles has joined Mitchell Trubisky in the Bears’ QB stable. To say that neither one inspires much optimism in the Windy City would be a gross understatement. If one of the two becomes a hit instead of a miss in 2020 and Chicago wins a decent number of games, Lawrence would be out of the equation. But for the time being he is most definitely in that equation.
Could the NFC North’s two bad teams—Chicago and Detroit—be headed toward a tank-for-Lawrence duel? It’s possible. Although the Lions still have Matthew Stafford and he is not especially old (32), time is running out for this franchise to ever do anything with the former Georgia standout at the helm. They will probably stink this season, too, so if Lawrence is on the board it would be wise to draft him and possibly let him learn from Stafford for a year.
Tennessee was thought to be in major contention for Tom Brady, but the franchise instead opted to bring back Ryan Tannehill and Brady eventually signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tannehill’s contract is four years, so the Titans would have to be unexpectedly awful in 2020 to get their hands on Lawrence because they aren’t going to trade up when a veteran QB is already in place.