Team Building: Why Trevor Lawrence is a Mistake

Welcome Gang Green Gangster. I’m what seems like a totally lost season for the Jets a lot of offseason talk has been made about about the offseason with much of the season still left. What free agents can we look forward to? Which draft prospects would be the best fit? What trades could we make to help benefit the Jets the most. A lot of buzz has surrounded the Jets quarterback play, and rightfully so. One player that is the most polarizing college athlete since Tim Tebow will presumably be the top pick for any team. That player will be Trevor Lawrence. However, Would he be the right player for the Jets? Is this the right circumstance and time to replace Sam Darnold? Well it’s complicated to say the least.

I will first start by saying Lawrence is an excellent prospect. However, I think over the years the term "generational talent" has gotten vastly overused. Then when a prospect doesn’t pan out we are quick to forget those claims. Sam Darnold, Sam Bradford, Jameis Winston, Andrew Luck, and Cam Newton were all players that were going to take the league by storm and were generational talents. While all had varying degrees of success, none of these players have delivered championships, and it’s not entirely their fault. The last two number 1 draft pick quarterbacks to win Superbowls were the Manning brothers. Eli was drafted in 2004 and Peyton in 1998. Now this isn’t to suggest you avoid a QB at The top pick, but I think you have to meet certain criteria to do so.

If you’re drafting number 1, you’re likely a really bad team or you have sold the farm to get to that spot. The only caveat to this is if you’re team suffered injuries at the key positions, then you’d likely be much better the following year. That is not the case with the 2020 Jets. We are not only terrible, we are historically bad. We have maybe 5-6 players that would have a role on a middle of the pack football team. As it sits currently we don’t have the resources to fill a majority of those wholes even with $100 mil in cap space and two first round picks. This team is in dire need of as many premium picks as we can possibly get. The best way to do so would be to trade away the most premium pick, for a bounty of lesser but still premium draft picks.

One argument made is we have two first round picks so let’s trade the Seahawks pick. That pick is likely to be at the very end of the first round. In 2018 the ravens sent pick 52, 125 and a second round pick to move up to 32 to take Lamar Jackson. This was a win for both teams, as Lamar panned out, and the other team gained a higher value in return based off the quarterback available. Now, let’s look at the top pick. While I do agree that teams are likely to avoid an RG3 type deal, it’s still not out of the realm of possibilities, and the trade chart does go out the window for QBs. In 2017 the bears send 4 picks to the 49ers to move up one spot to grab Mitch Trubisky. I would also argue that Trevor Lawrence is a much much better prospect than Mitch Trubisky.

The teams that need a QB are absolute endless this year. Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, New Orleans, New England, Carolina, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Dallas, Las Vegas, 49ers and the Rams could all reasonably look to add a talent like Lawrence to their team. Would it be out of the question for Jacksonville to trade 3 1st and a 2nd to move up, given their endless draft capital? Would the 49ers send multiple 1st, 2nd and 3rds to put Lawrence on a Championship roster? Would joe Brady and Matt Rhule sell off the farm to have Lawrence on their team with a young defense and several pieces on offense? The answer to all of those questions is yes.

The team that I keep coming back to is the Jaguars. They are scheduled to have the 6th pick along with the 27th pick, along with two 2nds and two 3rds. So let’s say we move back from 1 to 6, add picks 27, 2021 2nd round, and 2022 1st. This to me seems like a realistic trade for both parties, but why would the a jets pass on a franchise QB? The answer is simple. We are adding premium talents with 8 selections in the first two rounds between 2021 and 2022. No other move will generate that much of an influx in talent. We will never get an opportunity to cash in on picks again. Also moving from 1 to 6 only decreases your chance on hitting on a player by about 3%.

Now the real wild card here is can Darnold be saved? The answer is I don’t know. He has shown flashes of brilliance. He has shown flashes of Sanchez and Geno. Does no offensive line, WRs, RBs and TEs really stunt the growth of a QB? I would say so. Why is the argument made that not even the great Patrick Mahomes could be successful here used, but yet we totally ignore that argument when we see Trevor Lawrence? Why is the large number of players that have strived away from Adam Gase ignited when evaluating Sam Darnold? Why can’t we spend the $9 mil cap hit to see if Darnold can thrive away from Gase with improved weapons and a better coaching staff for a year?

I was not a Darnold fan in 2018. I wanted Lamar or Josh Allen. In 2017 I really wanted Deshaun Watson. However, those players have been given every opportunity to succeed by their current team. Those teams added premium talent in key positions. They hired good coaches. Those coaches implemented a system to fit each of their strengths. That has lead to such good players that it’s hard to argue with the formula. In my opinion that’s what separates Darnold from those players more than Darnold himself.

Lastly I want to touch on Lawrence as a prospect. There really isn’t much to hate about his game. I’m not a stats guy, because frankly a good prospect on the best team in the country, coached by the best coach in collegiate history should have good stats. So I could care less what the stats say. He has excellent deep throwing ability, he moves well in the pocket, he runs in the open field well, and his mechanics are okay. In the games I saw him play he struggled with his footwork and had a tendency to want to run a bit too early against good teams. I also see him struggling with accuracy on the short to Intermediate routes. I don’t think the accuracy is there yet to fit into professional windows. Now with all that being said, Lawrence is a great prospect and an even better person. I don’t foresee him having issues in the pros. I do think the team he goes to also matters. The Jets currently just do not have the pieces in place to support a rookie QB.

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