The transition from NCAA to NFL is not an easy one, no matter the skill level of a player. Playing at the professional level is, obviously, much more demanding and requires a new understanding of the game. First round draft pick and Clemson alumni Trevor Lawrence is no exception to this rule as he has struggled to guide the Jaguars — a team that has not had a winning season since 2017 — to victory.
When Lawrence was named starting quarterback for the Jaguars in late August, both Clemson and Jacksonville fans alike were elated. Lawrence is a once-in-a-generation player who displays confidence in the pocket and is not afraid to run the ball himself. Unfortunately, Lawrence cannot rebuild the Jaguars on his own.
In his official NFL debut against the Houston Texans, Lawrence completed 28 passes on 51 attempts, resulting in a 54% completion rate. He threw an impressive three touchdowns, the shine of which was significantly dulled by the accompanying three picks forced by Houston.
This does not necessarily mean that Lawrence is doomed to an unimpressive career — as Jacksonville reporter Justin Barney pointed out, both Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning had three picks in their NFL debuts and they are now among the most celebrated franchise quarterbacks in league history.
Week two proved to be rougher for the Jaguars, as they headed to battle against the Denver Broncos. Lawrence finished the game 14/33 for 118 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. However, the Denver defense is currently considered one of the toughest in the NFL at this point in the season, so these low statistics must be taken with a grain of salt for the rookie.
After only two weeks in the big leagues, Lawrence can lay claim to 450 total passing yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. There are still 15 regular season games for him to prove his ability as the top-notch team leader he was known to be at Clemson.