Trevor Lawrence’s NFL debut with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night against the Cleveland Browns at TIAA Bank Field was, at times, impressive.
In his first series, Lawrence was sacked and fumbled on the first snap of his career. He would recover the ball, and ultimately on third down, he would throw a 10-yard strike to Marvin Jones for a first down. Following a couple of James Robinson runs that netted Jacksonville another first down, Lawrence threw incompletions on two out of the next three plays, and Jacksonville was forced to punt.
The second drive for Lawrence was a little better. Lawrence would complete a short pass to Chris Manhertz for five yards, but he would take a sack on the next play. On third and long, Lawrence would make his best throw of the night when he hit Jones for a 35-yard completion.
“I was in the pocket forever. Eventually, it ended up turning into a scramble,” Lawrence said about the completion to Jones. “He did a good job of just getting open and reacting. That’s something we’ve been working in camp is the scramble drill. I didn’t actually scramble, but everyone has the time clock of, ‘All right, the play’s not working as it was designed. At this point, we’ve got to make something happen.’
Ultimately, Jacksonville would get stopped on 4th and 1 in Browns’ territory, and Lawrence’s night was done.
The number one overall pick played two series for Jacksonville and was 6/9 for 71 yards.
“I saw good plays. I saw a guy who made a couple nice plays on third down,” Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, who was making his NFL debut, said about Lawrence. “I think he held the ball a little bit a couple times, which you would expect out him maybe. Instead of anticipating the throws [, he was] holding on to it a little bit, but we have a long way to go.”
Even though this was his first time playing in an NFL game, Lawrence felt comfortable.
“I feel like the first time out there, I felt comfortable, felt poised,” Lawrence said. “Obviously, the first play’s not kind of what you want for the first play, but after that, I thought we did a good job. We communicated well up front. They did a really good job of protection. At least one of those sacks was on me, for sure, just holding the ball too long. That’s something I’ll work on. Just maneuvering in the pocket is something I’ve always got to work on.”
As the season goes on, Lawrence will definitely have to improve on getting the ball out a little sooner, but all that comes with experience, and he will continue to get that experience as time goes on.