Mon, Mar 29, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer recently said in an interview that the team will likely pick former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence as the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft in April.
Meyer spoke to Peter King of NBCsports.com, saying the following:
"I'd have to say that's the direction we're going," Meyer told Peter King. "I'll leave that up to the owner when we make that decision official. But I'm certainly not stepping out of line that that's certainly the direction we're headed."
Jacksonville has not had a franchise quarterback since Mark Brunell. Most recently, Gardner Minshew was given a chance to prove that the organization could build around him. That experiment did not go as planned as Minshew struggled after the first two weeks of the season, hid a thumb injury from the team, and was replaced by rookie Jake Luton and then veteran Mike Glennon.
The Jaguars have taken three quarterbacks in the first round. Byron Leftwich was drafted in 2003, Blaine Gabbert in 2011, and Blake Bortles in 2014. None of them work out how Jacksonville would have liked.
“Trevor checks all the boxes, you know?” Meyer said in the interview with King. “The number one common quality of every great player, not just quarterback, is a competitive maniac. He’s 34-2. Won a national title as a true freshman. Is a winner. I’ve seen him up close and in person compete. And then character. I see him and I witness with my players when the guys get drafted high, a lot of people get. They have influences in their life. Like, whether it be social media, whether it be other things that really don’t pertain to winning. What I’m really pleased with and I don’t want to say surprised, but him, his agent, his family, they’re focused on one thing. He wants to become the best version of himself for the National Football League, which is, well, it is somewhat refreshing.”
Meyer is working towards his first draft as an NFL head coach. Meyer’s previous head coaching stops were in the college ranks at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State. His college coaching record is 187-32. He is 12-3 in bowl games and won three national titles.
Meyer stepped away from Florida due to stress issues before joining Ohio State two years later. He then stepped away from Ohio State in 2018 for health issues.
“Florida was stress-related. At Ohio State, I went seven years and I kind of knew down the road, I was getting near the end. Plus I found the right guy. Ohio State’s very personal to me. When I found the right coach in Ryan Day, and he almost left the year before to become a head coach, I went to our president and I went to our AD. I said I found the right guy. All the assistant coaches, all the strength staff, the training staff, the infrastructure stays in place and the organization just continues to thrive.
“That’s everybody’s dream. That’s what happened at Ohio State. At Ohio State, I didn’t have stress-related issues. I had some health-related issues—the Arachnoid [brain] cyst issue I had dealt with. I had surgery in ’14 and some stuff. I worked through that pretty well.”