In March, the NBC Sports personality said that the Jacksonville Jaguars’ selection of Lawrence will be, at least in part, done to “sell tickets.” Lawrence went to Clemson and is from nearby Georgia, and Simms believes that is a big factor in why his selection at No. 1 is basically preordained. He also said there was “no comparison” between the two quarterbacks’ pro day throwing performances.
Simms is certainly entitled to his opinion, and he’s hit on some quarterback takes in recent years that haven’t been the most popular at the time. He’s way out on an island with this one, though. Wilson is very impressive, and is likely to go No. 2 to the New York Jets, but Lawrence is a generational talent who has lived up to immense hype throughout his early career. Desmond Howard, who is a big Wilson fan himself, called Simms’ take on the two quarterbacks “laughable” on today’s episode of ESPN’s Get Up!
“Well, it’s laughable. But like you said, everyone is entitled to their opinion. You look at Trevor Lawrence — I was at Clemson’s football camp about two years ago with my sons and Trevor Lawrence walked in there with a t-shirt on and shorts,” Howard said, via 247Sports. “You were just amazed at how big he actually is outside of his pads.”
🎙 NBC analyst @CSimmsQB explains why he would pick Zach Wilson over Trevor Lawrence in this year's NFL Draft.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 13, 2021
For Howard and former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum, the difference in the two players’ size and stature are a big difference. Both are big-armed, athletic players, but Lawrence is built like a linebacker, while Wilson is very slender, and has an injury history.
“And like Mike said; you look at Zach Wilson, he’s a slender-built guy, he’s already been hurt,” Howard continued. “Don’t forget, this guy’s going to be the face of your franchise for 10, to 12, to 14 years. Trevor Lawrence has been the face of Clemson football, if not college football, for at least two years.
“…I just don’t even see the comparison where you would risk all of that with a guy who didn’t play the competition level.”
Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson will likely go back-to-back, to bottomed-out franchises with new coaches, so we’ll get a very clear comparison between the two. If Simms hit on this one, he’ll have earned it.