Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer isn't missing this week's big pro day -- nor did anyone really expect him to.
After not attending other pro days, Meyer is in attendance at the Ohio State Buckeyes Pro Day on Tuesday, according to Clayton Holloway of NFL Network.
Meyer was one of five coaches that Holloway mentioned being in attendance; the others were Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin, Carolina Panthers Matt Rhule, Dallas Cowboys Mike McCarthy and Atlanta Falcons Arthur Smith. Meyer has been on the job in Jacksonville since mid-January however this is only the second pro day Meyer has attended in person. He previously attended the Pro Day for Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The Jacksonville Jaguars own the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. It’s been made clear by the front office that a quarterback will be the pick. It’s been assumed that would be Lawrence. While no one from the franchise has said with 100% certainty that’s the pick, Meyer did tell Peter King of Football Morning In America last week, “that’s certainly the direction we’re headed.”
Over the past few weeks, debate has arisen as to who the top quarterback in this draft really is; Lawrence or BYU Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson or Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Wilson, along with the North Dakota State Bison and quarterback Trey Lance both held their Pro Day’s last week. Meyer did not attend either.
Granted, Meyer spent seven seasons coaching the Buckeye’s, retiring from that post after the 2018 season. There are a good handful of players in the draft from OSU that Meyer recruited and coached. He also has relationships with the majority of coaches still on staff.
During free agency, Meyer lamented the inability to meet with free agent prospects in person due to restrictions still surrounding the global pandemic COVID-19. As such he and the Jaguars staff were leaning on previous relationships. The same can be done in the upcoming draft.
“That was awful,” Meyer said last week of having to make the decisions without meeting people. “I don’t agree with it, but no one asked my opinion. I guess [in] the old days, you could bring them in and meet them, have dinner with them and find out the football intellect, find out the character.
“The ones like Malcom [Brown] that [Assistant Head Coach and Inside Linebackers Coach] Charlie Strong recruited and knew, we were good. Roy Robertson[-Harris], we did a deep dive into him and it came back extremely positive. To answer your question, it was awful. I don’t believe it should be that way, not when you’re making organizational decisions. I’m not sure how that rule came about, but to me, that’s not good business.
“You’re talking about organizational decisions made by people there’s chances we have not spent much time with them, and to be honest with you, I don’t feel great about that,” Meyer admitted at the time.
“I feel great about the coaches that have done their work behind the scenes digging up or else have had previous experience with them coaching them in the room. We’re probably going to lean on [them] more in that scenario, so I’ve hired a bunch of guys from the NFL that have NFL experience. If they’ve had [experience with] them, I feel much better about someone we just don’t know.”