The Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 quarterback situation could end up being the domino factor into how the team finishes the season.
When the franchise drafted Trevor Lawrence first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, the fan base knew what was on the horizon. Entering the season, the Jaguars find themselves with an open quarterback competition. Sure, the pre-season games are still two months away. But leave no doubt, Urban Meyer and the coaching staff will evaluate Lawrence and Gardner Minshew until one emerges as the clear-cut starter.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 Positional Preview: Quarterback
While the obvious choice for the starting role is Lawrence, the rookie will have to earn the role under center. Meyer stated during the off-season that every role will have to be earned, not given. Despite being the top overall pick, Lawrence will have to outduel Minshew for the job.
Lawrence enters his rookie season with a high expectation. Should he win the job, he has plenty of weapons surrounding him to turn the Jaguars into a successful team. Plus, with a 17-game schedule now, he has an extra regular season game to help lead the team in the right direction.
The Case for Trevor Lawrence to Start Immediately
Jacksonville could sit Lawrence for a few games and let Minshew mentor him, just like the Dolphins did with Tua Tagovailoa last season. However, there has been talks of releasing or trading Minshew before the season officially starts. That move would leave the team with Lawrence, Jake Luton and C.J. Beathard. The smart decision would be to keep Minshew on the roster and let him mentor Lawrence for the season, even if Lawrence ends up starting Week 1.
Last year, Minshew started the season and played well before getting injured for a few games. He passed for 2, 259 yards and 16 touchdowns with five interceptions. Luton started a couple of those games and had impressive moments, as he threw for 624 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions. But with a new look franchise in Duval, the team is ready to ride with Lawrence. The Jaguars could end up being a playoff team eventually with their new franchise quarterback under center. That likely won’t happen in 2021, but the future is bright in Jacksonville.
The offense in Jacksonville will be pass-heavy, which suits Lawrence well. He is a dynamic passer that can take the league by storm. Out of the quarterbacks drafted in 2021, Lawrence could end up as the best one out of the class. The Jaguars could have a 3,000-yard passer in his first season. Sure, the team will turn it over to Lawrence at some point. But as of now, there is no clear cut starter. The team is still in OTA’s, and training camp still doesn’t begin for a while. Towards the start of the season, the Jaguars will have a big decision to make.
𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐚𝐩𝐞 presented by @Dream_Finders
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) June 5, 2021
Coaching Staff Decision to be Made
The coaching staff has to evaluate each quarterback for a while before making their decision. The fan base is excited for Lawrence, and hopefully, he earns the start in week one. But if not, he has a solid guy ahead of him in Minshew, if he can stay healthy. Minshew is by no means a veteran, but he has the experience to give the best mentorship to the team’s future leader.
Depth Chart Projection
The Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 quarterback situation will likely make or break the team’s success moving forward. As the season approaches, here is a look at the potential depth chart entering week one.
• QB1: Trevor Lawrence
• QB2: Gardner Minshew
• QB3: Jake Luton
The Jaguars could end up getting rid of Beathard of Luton before the season. While there is speculation the franchise could trade Minshew, that wouldn’t be the wisest decision at this point. Luton will likely remain on the roster as the third-string quarterback for 2021.
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