The Jaguars continue to close in on making quarterback Trevor Lawrence the first overall pick in the 2021 draft.
At a pre-draft press conference on Wednesday, coach Urban Meyer was asked whether they’ll be announcing the pick before the draft, and whether it will be Lawrence. (A positive answer to the second question makes the first one moot.) In response, Meyer said that, ultimately, owner Shad Khan will be making the decisions.
“Ultimately the owner is going to pull the ticket on that one,” Meyer said, via James Palmer of NFL Media. “We’re going to have a great meeting tomorrow and I imagine we’ll get closer to a decision.”
It’s a refreshing dose of candor from Meyer. Although most owners are obsessed with avoiding the impression that they meddle, how can any owner not meddle with a decision this impactful to the organization? It’s Khan’s team; it should be his pick.
That doesn’t simply apply at the top of the first round. Throughout the round, coaches and General Managers need to be ready to listen to what the owner wants. And they need to be smart enough to pick up on the cues, which will allow an owner to give input while at all times truthfully saying, “I didn’t tell anyone who to pick.”
A decision of the Jaguars to take any player other than Lawrence would instantly become one of the biggest draft surprises of all time, since the Jaguars have done nothing to private or publicly push back on the perception that it’s Lawrence. If it ultimately isn’t, there would be plenty of Jaguars fans unhappy with the curve ball.