One of the most hyped and consequential pro days of the 2021 NFL Draft process will take place today, with BYU quarterback Zach Wilson taking center stage as representatives from 31 NFL teams pile in to watch the budding star.
Among those 31 teams is the Jacksonville Jaguars -- owners of the No. 1 overall pick -- who have sent offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.
But while the Jaguars' top offensive assistant is in Provo, Utah to watch Wilson throw, the man who holds the future of the Jaguars' organization in his hands -- head coach Urban Meyer -- is not, according to Breer.
This is the second time this month Meyer has been absent at a pro day for one of the draft's top quarterbacks. Previously this month, he wasn't in attendance for North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance's pro day.
The Jaguars have been linked to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence ever since they secured the No. 1 overall pick in December. Meyer's hiring several weeks later has only added to this likelihood, and Meyer himself has been at only Lawrence's throwing session since.
A month ago, Meyer was a key fixture at Lawrence's pro day at Clemson. He stood just yards from him as he went through the entire workout, either speaking with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney or watching every one of Lawrence's detailed movements.
Meyer went as far as to describe the ability to be there in person to scout a quarterback as an important task when asked about Lawrence's pro day on Tuesday.
"Watching a guy throw, especially throw, on video tape, it’s not the same. I made the comment you want to hear it leave his hand, listen to it go by you, and to me, I don’t know how you evaluate a quarterback without doing that," Meyer said Tuesday. "So, I thought he did great. We’ve had a couple Zoom calls with him and he’s been great, and we like where we’re at with him.”
Now with fewer than five weeks until the Jaguars make the first pick of the draft, Meyer so far has seen only Lawrence throw live. Last week, Meyer went as far as to speak on NFL Network's 'Good Morning Football' about why Lawrence has each trait he looks for in a quarterback.
"There's a lot of boxes he checks," Meyer said via NFL.com. "The No. 1 that I've always looked for in a quarterback and we've been fortunate... You look at the career that I had in college, and the one thing we've always had is a great quarterback. They might look different. They might play different. But that position, you can't function without them. No. 1, his competitive spirit. He's a competitor. He's 34-2 as a starter. He's an extreme competitor. All the homework we've done on him when I talk to him on these Zoom calls. I don't have to do much more Zoom because I know so much about Trevor. But he's been great conversations. That's No. 1. He's a tough guy. I witnessed that live when I watched him play against Ohio State in the playoffs, not this past year, a year ago. His intelligence, his football intellect, his leadership, and then his ability to adapt in the spread offense. He can do it all. He's 5-for-5 in those areas."
To this point, there have been zero indications the Jaguars are interested in any player but Lawrence at No. 1 overall. Wilson was arguably college football's most impactful quarterback in 2020 when he completed 73.5% of his passes for 3,692 yards and 33 touchdowns, but there are no signs that his big numbers will force the Jaguars to make a surprise move and not draft Lawrence.
The Jaguars should be expected to do their full diligence with each prospect in this draft, especially at the quarterback position. But Friday was yet another obvious act of the Jaguars essentially telling the New York Jets they are on the clock at No. 2 overall -- and Lawrence won't be available.