Skip to main content

We have seen how the cards would likely fall for the Jacksonville Jaguars in a re-draft of the 2019 NFL Draft.

But what about last year's draft? Does their decision at No. 1 overall change after taking quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the top pick in last year's draft?

The short answer: probably not. But that is just the question facing the Jaguars during a re-draft of the 2021 draft from Pro Football Focus.

"I’m not going to argue that Lawrence had a spectacular, or even a good, rookie season, but we know that the situation around him in Jacksonville was a dumpster fire," PFF's Sam Monson wrote as he slotted Lawrence back to the Jaguars at No. 1 overall .

"Urban Meyer’s tenure didn’t last the season and ended in a lawsuit. The supporting cast was far from a strength, and Lawrence was one of the highest-rated prospects to enter the league in years. Jacksonville needed a quarterback, and there’s probably still none they’d rather have based on a year of evidence."

Starting all 17 games in Jacksonville's 3-14 campaign last year, Lawrence completed 59.6% of his passes for 3,641 yards (6.0 yards per attempt) for 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, which included a lengthy period where Lawrence didn't throw a touchdown pass.

Still, even after a rough rookie season, not much of the shine has been lost on Lawrence as a prospect. Most pundits inside and outside the league seem to place most of his rookie struggles on Meyer's failure as a coach, as evidenced by an ESPN poll of NFL scouts and executives that has tabbed Lawrence as the best second-year quarterback for the 2022 season.

Other options PFF could have gone with at No. 1 include New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, and Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts. But Lawrence's rookie season was far from enough to make one think the Jaguars made a mistake at No. 1, and the potential upside of Lawrence panning out is far and away greater than the upside of any other pick.

As for how PFF saw the other quarterbacks landing, Monson still had Zach Wilson going No. 2 overall to the Jets; Jones went No. 3 overall to the San Francisco 49ers; Justin Fields went No. 9 overall to the Denver Broncos; and Trey Lance went No. 11 to the Chicago Bears.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

In short, Lawrence and Wilson remained the top-two picks, while Jones went all the way to third. Other changes in the top-10 included the Falcons taking Parsons over Pitts at No. 4 and the Cowboys taking cornerback Patrick Surtain II at No. 10 overall.

But even with these changes, Lawrence still comes out as the top pick a year later. Considering his on-field flashes and off-field leadership during the Meyer era, it is hard to make an argument for the Jaguars to do anything but draft Lawrence.

"That's something I obviously looked at with the teams that were searching for head coaches is who is the quarterback, and is that person in place? Here it is, I truly believe that," Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said about Lawrence after he was hired.

"Everything, as I've done my research on Trevor and talked to people, even talked to coaches who have played against him this past year, say nothing but great things and kind of the sky's the limit."

But what about the Jaguars' second pick? Does that change in this scenario after the Jaguars took Clemson running back Travis Etienne at No. 25 overall last year after failing to be able to draft wide receiver Kadarius Toney?

In PFF's eyes, the Jaguars would pass on Etienne today in favor of another young skill player in former USC and current Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

"Jacksonville under Urban Meyer would have grabbed Kadarius Toney in this spot, but if we take the decision out of his hands we can select St. Brown, who made the most of opportunity in Detroit to earn himself a significant role in future," PFF wrote. "St. Brown had 90 catches, trailing only Waddle among rookies, dropping only two passes all season and generating a passer rating of 107.0 when targeted."

It isn't hard to predict the Jaguars would have gone with a non-running back in this slot considering how panned the Etienne pick was. After two running backs went in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, this PFF re-draft has just one in Najee Harris at No. 32 overall.

Players the Jaguars would have passed on in this scenario in favor of St. Brown include linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah; EDGE Odafe Oweh; EDGE Kwity Paye; linebacker Nick Bolton; EDGE Gregory Rousseau; and wide receiver Rashod Bateman.

The Jaguars should have always take a wideout at No. 25 overall, so it is hard to argue with a receiver at this spot. St. Brown did have a very good rookie season also, catching 90 passes for 912 yards and five touchdowns on a bad Lions' offense.

Still, Bateman and Elijah Moore are arguably better fits for the Jaguars and what their roster is currently missing. St. Brown is a sure-handed slot receiver, but he wouldn't have done much to fix the Jaguars' explosiveness issue.