Trevor Lawrence Is Overrated and That's Okay

09/16/2019

Last January, Trevor Lawrence led the Clemson Tigers to the national title as a true freshman. In the aftermath, many analysts came out claiming Trevor Lawrence may already be the best quarterback in all of college football. Fast forward to this season and Trevor Lawrence is the most hyped quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck with many believing he would have been the number one pick as a freshman. I don't see it.

Trevor Lawrence is one of the most hyped college prospects in recent history. Coming out of high school 24/7 Sports named him the best prospect in his class and the number six prospect of all time and rightfully so, Lawrence shattered plenty of high school records and accolades on route to two Georgia state titles. At 6 foot 6 with raw strength to complement impressive athleticism, Lawrence is on paper what a perfect quarterback would look like. Every team in the country battled for a chance at Trevor Lawrence and when the dust finally settled, Clemson University emerged as the winner.

This was one of the best Clemson teams of all time and many felt they would have won the national championship had they had a better quarterback. Kelly Bryant was a competent quarterback but the last time Clemson had a highly-touted quarterback from Georgia in Deshaun Watson, they played in two straight national championship games and took advantage of their second opportunity in 2017. The stage was set for Trevor Lawrence to make an impact as a true freshman and evident by last year's national championship, that is exactly what he did.

Early Season Struggles

Fast forward to this season and although Clemson once again looks like national title favorites, Trevor Lawrence has struggled with 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions while completing just 61 percent of his passes. The 5 interceptions in three games are already more than the 4 he threw in all of last season. This would be a non-issue if not for the fact that Lawrence has one of the most talented receiving groups in recent college football history and we've seen another quarterback in very similar circumstances perform much better. 

Tua Tagovailoa was another hyped freshman prospect who led a college football powerhouse to a national championship. Tua entered his sophomore season as a heisman favorite much like Trevor Lawrence but Tua responded with 43 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Has college football figured Trevor Lawrence out? Clemson's schedule only gets more difficult which doesn't bode well moving forward. Lawrence continues to miss receivers and has played well below the standards of someone considered to be by far the best prospect in college football, which begs the question what exactly do we make of Trevor Lawrence?

Receiving Core

Part of the issue is Lawrence continues to make poor throws that his uber-talented receivers bail him out of. Just take last year's national championship game, there were numerous throws that were missed but because Clemson had better receivers, those poor throws turned into positive highlights. The same holds true for this season but not quite as often, evident by the 5 interceptions. On the other hand, Lawrence has shown he is more than capable of making throws that NFL veterans would be envious of. 

Moving Forward

Lawrence may just be a mediocre quarterback playing with the best receivers in college football. There is nothing wrong with that reality, it just means that at 19 years old Trevor Lawrence still has a lot of work to do. Just because he fits the physical profile of an elite quarterback does not mean he is . . . yet. Tua Tagovailoa is a better prospect and Justin Fields, another prospect from the 2018 class, is making a legitimate case as a better player.

Trevor Lawrence has been blessed with the tools to be an elite quarterback but right now that's not the case and we should not pretend like it is. Trevor Lawrence is overrated and that's okay, he's only 19 and has plenty of time to improve.



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