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Urban Meyer Explains What About Trevor Lawrence's Pro Day Impressed Him

Trevor Lawrence dazzled scouts, coaches, and general managers on Friday during his lone throwing session of the offseason -- consider Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer among those impressed.

The road toward the Jacksonville Jaguars officially drafting Trevor Lawrence began several weeks ago, but it took its biggest and most important step yet on Friday.

Lawrence threw in front of representatives from 17 NFL teams, with three members of the Jaguars' organization among them. Leading that contingent of coaches was head coach Urban Meyer, whose influence played a major role in Lawrence even throwing this week.

"The number one thing that stood out to me is we found a week ago that he had a left labrum tear. We've had a bunch of phone calls with him. We did a zoom call with him," Meyer told NFL Network's Jane Slater on Friday. 

Why did Lawrence throw at all was likely a question on many minds since he is already the consensus player projected to go No. 1 overall in April, but it isn't unclear as of now. Lawrence is set to undergo surgery on his left shoulder, and throwing at Clemson's pro day at a later date would have meant putting the surgery off and, as a result, delaying his timetable to be ready for training camp.

It was that determination to gut it out and throw in a bit of a hastily organized throwing session that left such an impression on Meyer, who stood side-by-side with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney for the entirety of the throwing session.

"And I asked him, I said there's three choices you have -- number one is you can wait till March 11th Pro Day, but now you're getting your August and it's getting late. Because it's a five- to six-month injury. The second thing; you can not throw. He's probably a good enough player he could have said 'I'm not doing it', him and his agent. Or the third thing I said; why don't you just grab a ball and go throw for a little bit," Meyer told Slater. 

"I'd like to have our coordinator and passing game coordinator watch. They've never seen you. I've seen you. And he said 'let's go.' That was it. Next thing I know we talked to Woody and we're here at a pro day that they put together like that. That's a guy that loves football. That's a guy that's confident in his ability. And that was really impressive."

Lawrence's credentials are clear to anyone who has watched college football over the last several years. He has been projected as a future top pick since he was in high school, and he never failed to live up to that immense hype while at Clemson. It is because of his stellar three-year career under Swinney that he is now the odds-on favorite to be the first pick in the draft.

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In his career, Lawrence completed 66% of his passes for 10,098 yards (8.9 yards per attempt, 9.8 adjusted yards per attempt) for 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He also rushed for 943 yards and 18 touchdowns. He ended his college career with a bonkers 34-2 (.944) record as a starter, which included a national title and a perfect record through his first 25 games as a starter.

Now, Lawrence will likely be tasked with turning the Jaguars around. He stepped into a winning program at Clemson and took them to new heights. Next, he will almost assuredly have to step under Meyer's guidance to find quick NFL success. 

A major part of that success will be what the Jaguars surround their rookie quarterback with. The Jaguars finished 27th in offensive DVOA last season and had no players reach 1,000 receiving yards. 

Despite this, Meyer is confident in his vision for what the Jaguars will have on offense -- a vision that certainly includes Lawrence.

"Oh, it's all I think about 24/7. And this is a transformable decision for the Jaguars. We all know that it's a quarterback sport and obviously in the NFL," Meyer told Slater. 

"But it's also, when I was talking, our offensive line is pretty good. You know, it's not a blow up offensive line. You know, we got some other areas we got to fix. So I have a vision of what it looks like. Coach Schottenheimer and Bevell, we've had those conversations, but it's going to be built around what we have, and there's some good pieces there but we're gonna make it even better."

Considering both the need at quarterback and the fact that this will be the first time in franchise history the Jaguars have the top selection, it isn't hyperbolic to say Jacksonville's No. 1 pick in April is the most important draft pick in team history. The future of the franchise's on-field success won't totally depend on it, but it will be the biggest factor. 

As Meyer soaked in Lawrence's performance at Clemson, it is clear he understood the magnitude of the pick that is now staring him and the Jaguars directly in the face. To rebound from a 12-36 run the last three years, the Jaguars will need Lawrence to be every bit of the franchise quarterback he has been hyped as.

"I mean, that's -- we can't miss on this. I mean, you've heard, what I just said to you, I've said it to our staff 500 times already. We cannot miss. So you have to be creative," Meyer told Slater. "He trains with Jordan Palmer in California, who we have a relationship with. We can not miss. And I'm not talking about whether he can throw a hitch; we know he can do that. It's got to be the A through Z because now, and this is where Clemson, Ohio State, and Alabama's every team is as good or better than you are, and that's the biggest difference and he's gonna have to get used to that."