Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer appears poised to become the next head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and that has raised a question: With Meyer at the helm, would the Jaguars surprise everyone by passing on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and go with Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields instead?
That remains to be seen, but Meyer has previously stated he considers Lawrence a better quarterback than Fields. Prior to this college football season, Meyer was working for FOX Sports, and when asked to rank the best quarterbacks in college football, Meyer put Lawrence first and Fields second.
“I had Fields and Trevor right next to each other,” Meyer said. “I put Trevor Lawrence for one reason, he played one more year. That was it. The one thing I’ll say about Justin Fields, because I’m very close to the situation, any concerns about him being a throwing quarterback are gone now. He’s developed, he’s outstanding. I hear the guys talk. I talk to Coach [Ryan] Day, and obviously the quarterback coach I’m very close to. Comparisons to Dwayne Haskins are everywhere now as far as throwing the football, which — that’s an elite thrower.”
The comparison of Fields to Haskins — which Meyer meant as a compliment — has not aged well. Meyer made clear he considered it a very close call, but he felt that Lawrence’s additional experience gave him an edge. Lawrence still has more experience than Fields; Fields started 22 games at Ohio State and Lawrence started 36 games at Clemson.
The Jaguars still have three months to decide what to do with the first overall pick. But Lawrence is the favorite.