Lawrence, selected first overall out of Clemson by the Jacksonville Jaguars was harried, flustered and seemingly overwhelmed by a newly-revamped Browns defense, sans Pro Bowl edge rushers in Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney in his first series.
Albeit, this was just the first of many games in what could be a promising career for the former national-championship winning QB, Jacksonville did Lawrence a disservice in starting him behind one of the NFL’s shakiest offensive lines.
Per ESPN, the Jaguars OL ranked 25th in pass block win rate last season. English translation; Jacksonville had one of the worst pass-blocking units in the league, which led the Jags to invest $54.5 million in the off-season to better protect the face of the franchise.
If last night is an early indication on Jags owner Shahid Khan’s return on his investment, then he should demand a refund, after seeing Lawrence sacked and fumble in his first snap.
Some can argue that Lawrence held on to the ball too long vs. the Browns B team, but the issue that first year head coach Urban Meyer needs to clean up is to perhaps get him out of the pocket on bootlegs and rollouts.
Bottom line is this; Lawrence cannot afford to be exposed to hits, sacks and potential career-ending injuries a la David Carr, etc. If the Jaguars are smart, they need to let him sit on the bench and learn until they feel he is ready to lead Jacksonville into the future.
Also published on Medium.