There is no question how much the Jacksonville Jaguars have riding on quarterback Trevor Lawrence's development this season.
Luckily for them, those with the most to gain from Lawrence improving and playing like a franchise quarterback have seen the former No. 1 pick make just the improvements he has needed thus far.
Appearing on the O-Zone Podcast with senior Jaguars writer John Oehser, Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke detailed exactly how he has seen Lawrence improve this offseason.
"He's just more confident," Baalke told Oehser.
"You know, he's carrying himself with more confidence. He's delivering the ball quicker. He's continuing to do that. I've seen that through the course of the offseason, getting the ball out of his hands, being more decisive."
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.
But despite the passing game production not being there for the Jaguars and Lawrence in 2021, the former Clemson star and last year's top pick impressed with his ability to make high-level throws at all levels of the field. Lawrence also played better football down the stretch, with his best game coming in Week 18 in a season-finale win against the Colts.
"You know, there's a lot, there's a lot of growth that has to continue to take place for him just like there is for a lot of these young guys," Baalke said.
"We're a young football team. And, you know, we've got to, we've got some older veteran guys that have stepped up into leadership roles. But this is still a young football team. So there's a lot of growth that has to take place, both in the locker room and on the field. And I think you're gonna see that with every outing."
The Jaguars have made it an emphasis this offseason to put more pieces around Lawrence to ensure he takes the step forward he and the team expect him to take. From signing free agents such as wide receivers Chrisitan Kirk and Zay Jones, tight end Evan Engram and All-Pro right guard Brandon Scherff, to the hire of head coach Doug Pederson to replace Urban Meyer, the Jaguars look like a much different team around Lawrence.
Lawrence's rookie season didn't go the way anyone expected, but it was clear the ecosystem the Jaguars placed him in was the biggest factor. And while the Meyer debacle and the Jaguars' 3-14 season defined Lawrence's rookie year, Baalke still saw growth from the young signal-caller entering his second season.
"It is critical. You know, he is mature beyond his years," Baalke said.
"You know, he's an old soul. He's a leader, you know, and he does it in his own way, like any good leader does. He's got his own style. But the maturity showed last year was very impressive and he's continued to build on that as we work through this offseason."