Trevor Lawrence may have entered the NFL with the most hype of any quarterback since Andrew Luck. Entering the season, most realized it would take time for he and the Jacksonville Jaguars to win, though. ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson doesn’t buy that argument when Lawrence has been given Hall of Fame-caliber hype.
The Jags absolutely bottomed out last season under Doug Marrone. This offseason, with the No. 1 pick in tow, they made a big splash, hiring Urban Meyer before doing what most expected, drafting Lawrence out of Clemson first overall.
The Meyer experiment has raised some serious questions, but it seems very early to write off Lawrence. Through six games, the Jaguars are 1-5. The Clemson product is completing 59.7-percent of his throws, for 1,465 yards, seven touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He is coming off of one of his more effective appearances, throwing for 319 yards and a score in the team’s first win, 23-20 over the Miami Dolphins.
Keyshawn Johnson isn’t impressed though. While he says Lawrence is “growing,” Johnson doesn’t want to hear about Lawrence being a generational talent until Lawrence starts to win games.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 20, 2021
“This whole putting him into once in a lifetime, generational quarterbacks. Get me some damn wins, that’s what I care about,” Johnson said. “You can tell me all about ‘He’s learning, he’s climbing the pocket, he’s looking great, he’s sliding…,’ help me win games.”
Dan Orlovsky, who looked legitimately shocked by Johnson’s take, pointed out that Mac Jones and Justin Fields, two other rookies who Keyshawn says are helping their teams win, are on teams that are a combined 5-7, and haven’t even necessarily looked as good as Lawrence has. Keyshawn has tried to thread the needle of “Yes, Lawrence is improving, but he shouldn’t be compared to all-time greats until he wins games,” when it isn’t totally clear that many are doing now that we’re months and six games removed from the NFL Draft.
Others are criticizing Keyshawn Johnson’s take, including Yahoo’s Charles Robinson who points out that his own rookie year was nothing to write home about, playing for a 1-15 New York Jets squad.
6 games into Keyshawn’s rookie year, his #Jets were 0-6 and his per-game stats were: 3.8 catches, 60.3 yards and .5 touchdowns. 5 months after that rookie year, Key produced a memoir (Just Give Me The Damn Ball) about playing for his 1-15 Jets. Pearl-clutching about hype in 2021. https://t.co/FixK4iSvtT
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) October 21, 2021
This is one of the worst takes I’ve seen from Key 😂 Trevor has grown the most of any rookie QB from week 1-6. If he holds this pace, we’re talking about a record year and ROY honors https://t.co/L7hql0L74l
— Dante' Redwood (@DanteRedwood) October 21, 2021
Hey didn't they call K.Johnsin a once in a generation player and his team won 1 game his rookie year??? What happened?? https://t.co/VWYfbl5WnR
— IrrationalJagsFan (@EverettJE) October 20, 2021
So far, none of the rookie quarterbacks have had that immediate Justin Herbert-like impact. Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, and Davis Mills are leading teams that are a combined 8-21, while Trey Lance hasn’t taken over for Jimmy Garoppolo aside from injury situations.
Most of them join offenses that are not stacked with a ton of talent, and the teams in question are almost all rebuilding from near-scratch. As Orlovsky noted, even guys like Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning really struggled as rookies before flourishing and leading Hall of Fame careers.
— Brent Martineau (@BrentASJax) October 20, 2021
— Winston Overton (@wjoverton) October 20, 2021
Did I hear correctly that @keyshawn gave Mac a pass because the Patriots “aren’t at talented as we think” but then got on Trevor for not winning enough?
Have you seen the Jags roster??? https://t.co/W1coqIudMj
— Graham Marsh🖱 (@1010XLGraham) October 20, 2021
Some agree with him, but this does feel like a half-baked take at best by Keyshawn Johnson.