How many NFL teams would take Trevor Lawrence over the incumbent starter right now?
The NFL wants to get their hands on Clemson true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but they’ll have to wait two more years until he’s eligible. But in this hypothetical scenario, how many NFL teams would take Lawrence over their starter today if they had the chance to draft him?
ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit who called the National Championship Game with Chris Fowler where Lawrence threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns said Lawrence was the best freshman quarterback he’d seen when I spoke him prior to the Cotton Bowl and is impressed with how he carries himself like a seasoned vet.
“Trevor has incredible poise and maturity for a young player,” Herbstreit said. “What’s scary is he’s just scratching the surface where he’s going to be in two years. He reminds me of a junior or senior with his poise and the way he can command the offense.”
Former Cowboys general manager and the godfather of modern scouting, Gil Brandt gushed over Lawrence during Monday night’s National Championship, calling him the best true freshman quarterback he’s ever seen. Further, he thinks teams will be positioning themselves to stockpile as many 2021 picks to have a chance to get him.
The 6-6, 215-pound Lawrence already looks the part of a franchise quarterback with one NFL scout telling Bleacher Report, he could be the best NFL Draft prospect ever.
“With what he now knows, his physical ability at 19 years old, how he wants to be coached and wants to be great, his ceiling is limitless. He makes throws now that guys in our league can’t make,”
So how many teams would take Lawrence over their incumbent starter right now to lead their team in the 2019 season, where Lawrence won’t even turn 20 years old until Oct. 6.
Would you rather have Trevor Lawrence or your NFL team’s starter?
Cowboys: Dak Prescott or Lawrence?
Prescott has the it factor and has helped lead the Cowboys to the playoffs twice in his first three seasons. Good player, but can he beat teams with his arm like Lawrence? Not so sure. Give me Lawrence and watch this offense really go to the next level.
Eagles: Carson Wentz/Nick Foles or Lawrence?
Wentz played like an MVP before tearing his ACL last season which opened the door for Nick Foles to lead the team to the Super Bowl. With Wentz hurt after a so-so season, Foles is back under center and led the team to a win over the Bears in the Wild Card round. Foles is a great story but I question the longevity of his success. Wentz concerns me with the mounting injuries, so Lawrence is the pick in a close call.
Giants: Eli Manning or Lawrence?
The Giants have remained committed to Manning instead of drafting Sam Darnold and appear committed to him in 2019, but this is a no-brainer pick for Lawrence who would be a massive star in the Big Apple.
Redskins: Alex Smith or Lawrence?
Smith suffered a devastating broken leg during the season and his NFL future is cloudy at best. Washington will surely look to draft a quarterback or sign a free agent, none of the options will be as attractive as Lawrence though.
Lions: Matthew Stafford or Lawrence?
Stafford is still a good quarterback but he’s not a great quarterback. Stafford has had a great run and put up a lot of big numbers, but the upside is gone and it’s time to turn it over to a fresh face and a new arm.
Packers: Aaron Rodgers or Lawrence?
Rodgers is a future Hall of Famer and one of the best ever at the position. As talented as Lawrence is and his ceiling may be as high as the upper deck at Lambeau Field, but Rodgers is the guy.
Bears: Mitchell Trubisky or Lawrence?
Full disclosure, as a Bears fan, Trubisky has made a lot of progress in the first year under Matt Nagy, but if the Bears had a chance to get Lawrence, I’d be among the first to buy his jersey and proclaim the Bears the Super Bowl favorite in 2019-2020.
Vikings: Kirk Cousins or Lawrence?
The Vikings gave Cousins $84 million to have an average season for the Vikings. Imagine what Lawrence could do with Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook. The Vikings would be back in the postseason.
Saints: Drew Brees or Lawrence?
Today, it’s a no-brainer that Brees, who just broke his own NFL record for completion percentage in a season, and is second-team All-Pro gets the nod. However, if Brees retires after next season, the Saints could potentially struggle enough to that they’ll be in a position to draft Lawrence when he is eligible in 2021. Wouldn’t that be a perfect transition?!
Panthers: Cam Newton or Lawrence?
Newton is a former MVP and took his team to a Super Bowl. He’s fought through some injuries, but when he’s healthy, he’s one of the best at the position.
Falcons: Matt Ryan or Lawrence?
Lawrence will get a lot of comparisons to Ryan over the next few years. Lawrence has a higher ceiling and his floor might be that of Ryan, which is really good. Ryan has an MVP and a Super Bowl appearance on his resume. The potential of Lawrence is tantalizing, but not enough to take him over Ryan.
Buccaneers: Jameis Winston or Lawrence?
Winston’s future in Tampa may be in jeopardy after failing to live up to expectations after being the No. 1 pick coming out of Florida State. This year, with a new coach coming in and the Bucs in need of a reset, Lawrence is the pick.
Rams: Jared Goff or Lawrence?
This might be a bit of a surprise to some considering Goff was the No. 1 pick only three years ago and has enjoyed a lot of success the last two years under Sean McVay. However, Lawrence is the luxury version of Goff and would be an immense star on and off the field in Los Angeles.
Seahawks: Russell Wilson or Lawrence?
Wilson is headed to the Hall of Fame one day and might be the best Seahawks of all time when it’s all over. This is an easy one to side with Wilson over the prodigy.
49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo or Lawrence?
Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL and didn’t get to build on his impressive run to close last season. He’s still very much an unknown. He has promise, but if Kyle Shanahan had a chance to get his hands on the uber-talented Lawrence, he’d represent the franchise’s greatest quarterback talent since Steve Young.
Cardinals: Josh Rosen or Lawrence?
Rosen was a former No. 1 quarterback recruit just like Lawrence. Both are big, tall, strong-armed quarterbacks with bright futures in front of them. Lawrence might have a brighter one though.
Patriots: Tom Brady or Lawrence?
Brady might have the best career of any quarterback to ever play the game. He’s a living legend and has all the accolades, personal and team, that any quarterback could hope for. He’s the pick today. Just like the Saints, though, imagine a scenario where the Patriots find a way to draft Lawrence after Brady retires. If you didn’t hate the Patriots, you might change your mind if that scenario played out.
Jets: Sam Darnold or Lawrence?
This is a tough call. Darnold had a promising rookie season after being taken with the No. 3 pick out of USC. He’s a future star in the Big Apple and depending on who the Jets hire as their head coach, he might sky-rocket in the coming years if the guy can tap into his vast potential. Darnold edges Lawrence for Gang Green.
Bills: Josh Allen or Lawrence?
Allen had a better rookie season than many expected for the No. 7 pick out of Wyoming, especially with his ability to pick up yards with his feet. That said, Lawrence is far more advanced as a passer in every facet today than Allen hopes to be. The Bills hope Allen can develop into the type of player that Lawrence already is after one year in college.
Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill or Lawrence?
The Dolphins may already be looking to move on from the Tannehill era so this is an easy call. Lawrence would be the most talented quarterback the Dolphins have had since Dan Marino.
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger or Lawrence?
Roethlisberger is a future Hall of Famer and coming off a strong season. He’d still get the nod over the freshman phenom, but if this exercise was held next year, the answer might be different.
Browns: Baker Mayfield or Lawrence?
Last year’s No. 1 pick is going to win the Rookie of the Year after leading the Browns to seven wins after getting zero last year. Mayfield is already a huge fan favorite in Cleveland and is growing in popularity around the league. He gets the nod over Lawrence, who hopes to join Mayfield as a No. 1 overall pick in two years.
Ravens: Lamar Jackson or Lawrence?
Jackson has a Heisman Trophy, something Lawrence might win in one of the next two years. Jackson helped lead the Ravens to the playoffs after taking over the starting job from Joe Flacco in the second half before struggling mightily in the Wild Card loss to the Chargers. Jackson’s got dynamic play-making ability, but his inability to be a consistent passer is why Lawrence gets the nod.
Bengals: Andy Dalton or Lawrence?
One of the easiest calls to make. Dalton is one of the more average quarterbacks in the league. Lawrence is far better today than Dalton and just imagine the type of fireworks the offense would have with Lawrence throwing to A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd.
Colts: Andrew Luck or Lawrence?
Lawrence might be the best prospect since Luck. It’s good company to be in. But if the choice is Luck or the promise of the next best guy since him, you go with the known. This is an easy call because Luck is going to win an MVP or two and a Super Bowl or two.
Texans: Deshaun Watson or Lawrence?
The battle of two Clemson stars. Watson led Clemson to their first national title since 1981 two years ago. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had the pleasure of having them both, but the Texans wouldn’t roll the dice and take Lawrence over Watson, who is going to be a star as long as he stays healthy.
Titans: Marcus Mariota or Lawrence?
Mariota hasn’t quite lived up to expectations after the Titans made him the No. 2 pick out of Oregon four years ago. He’s had injuries and a plethora of offensive coordinators but he faces a crucial fifth year next season. The Titans aren’t giving up on Mariota in real life, but in this scenario, the opportunity to get Lawrence is too much to pass up.
Jaguars: Blake Bortles or Lawrence?
If only the Jaguars really could take Lawrence this year, but alas, there is a dearth of quarterbacks for them to choose from as they move on from the Bortles era. Jags fans can dream of Lawrence on their team, but this exercise will be the closest they get to that.
Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes or Lawrence?
Mahomes is going to win the MVP after throwing 50 touchdowns in his first year as the starter for the Chiefs. He’s the best quarterback in the game, so let’s not waste much time here.
Chargers: Philip Rivers or Lawrence?
Rivers was in the MVP picture in early December and has the Chargers poised to make another run for the Super Bowl. In two years, Lawrence might be a real option for the Chargers, but today, Rivers is the guy.
Raiders: Derek Carr or Lawrence?
If only Lawrence was eligible this year, the Raiders would be in a spot to take him. The Raiders have the No. 2 pick and have the Bears and Cowboys first rounders so they would be able to trade with the Cardinals to move up to the top pick and get the quarterback who can lead them in the new era when they move to Las Vegas.
Broncos: Case Keenum or Lawrence?
Lawrence has been likened to Peyton Manning who won a Super Bowl playing out his final years with the Broncos. Lawrence would join Manning and John Elway, of course, as franchise cornerstones. Too bad for Elway, he won’t be able to draft him the next two years. However, don’t be surprised if they are bad enough to win the No. 1 pick in 2021 to get him then. If only Broncos fans can hold out for that long.
19 NFL teams would pick Lawrence over their incumbent starter right now. That means there are only 13 NFL quarterbacks teams would stick with instead of Lawrence. That’s a testament to Lawrence’s skills and poise but also a testament to how many teams have bad quarterbacks or a place-holder keeping the seat warm until they find a better option to replace them. If teams don’t find that in this year’s draft, they’ll have Tua Tagovailoa in 2020 and Lawrence in 2021.