Since entering the league in 1995, the Jaguars had never before held the first pick in the draft. They officially no longer hold the first overall pick, given that they have used it to acquire — as universally expected — Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
There has never been any doubt about Lawrence’s status, even with surgery to his non-throwing shoulder that may prevent him from being ready to go when training camp opens. He emerged in 2018 as the presumptive No. 1 pick in his first year of draft eligibility, and that has never changed.
For the Jaguars, the hope is that the arrival of Lawrence sparks a massive change in the franchise’s fortunes. The Jaguars used the third overall pick in 2014 to select Blake Bortles, and their decision to stick with him in 2017 kept them from considering players like Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson with the fourth overall selection. (They took Leonard Fournette instead.)
The expected selection of Lawrence already has sparked an uptick in season-ticket sales, with the team explaining that nearly half of the customers making deposits in the past four months have never before bought tickets to a Jaguars game.
For that to continue, they’ll need to win more than they have. If Lawrence lives up to his potential, and if Urban Meyer can avoid Sabanesque NFL pitfalls, maybe they will.
With Lawrence now officially on the team, the future of Gardner Minshew officially becomes murky. The sixth-round pick from 2019 became last year’s Week One starter. And because the team’s only win came in Week One, the Jaguars now have Trevor Lawrence.