Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was the first overall player in last week's NFL Draft, which was no surprise. It's also not that Lawrence is an early favorite for the NFL's offensive rookie of the year.
The Jacksonville Jaguars never "won" the first place overall in the NFL Draft standings. The Jags took it off the roster and picked quarterback Clemson Trevor Lawrence, who never lost a regular season match in his three seasons with the Tigers, at the summit 2021 draft of April 29. The Jags also never won an Associated Press NFL Offensive award Rookie of the Year, but Lawrence is the +300 favorite in the NFL futures to end this drought.
Many scouts consider Lawrence to be the best QB contender to enter the NFL since Andrew Luck was voted first in Stanford's 2012 standings by the Indianapolis Colts. Luck, now retired, he had a record first season at Indy but lost to Offensive Rookie of the Year to Washington QB Robert Griffin III, second choice this year.
Playmakers have earned that honor over the following seasons, with Justin Herbert (No. 6 overall), 2020 winner Los Angeles Chargers and Kyler Murray (No. 1 overall) taking home the award last year from the Arizona Cardinals.
The jaguars will start Lawrence on day one
While Jacksonville has a capable QB on at Gardner Minshew (although he will likely be sold at some point in the off-season), there's no question that Lawrence will start Week 1 for new coach Urban Meyer. Lawrence is over 4150 passing 5 yards this season under a - 140 favorite.
For a benchmark, Herbert threw at 4.473 yards last year, but it didn't start until week 2 and only then due to a medical accident involving Tyrod Taylor. If Herbert were the week 1 guy, he would have broken the Luck rookie record of 4.374 passing yards.
Lawrence's former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne was one of the best runners in ACC history and was somewhat surprisingly picked by Jacksonville at number 25 overall - surprising as the Jagas have a pretty youthful youth in the form of James Robinson who was an OROY candidate in 2020 as an underdeveloped free agent. Meyer says Etienne (+ 2,300 for OROY) will be the third victim back and is a good recipient. The last run to win this award was Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants in 2018.
OROY's other favorite bets
Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields (+ 500), San Francisco QB Trey Lance (+ 700), Atlanta Narrow End Kyle Pitts (+ 800), San Francisco QB Zach Wilson (+ 2012) and Cincinnati Ja'Marr Chase Receiver (+ 2012) rounds the favorites in NFL futures odds against this proposal.
Neither Fields nor Lance will start Week 1, and Lance may not be playing for Jimmy Garoppolo at all this year. Pitts was picked fourth by Falcons, the highest pick ever for a draft, but he is sure to play on a wide pitch as well. There is no tight end to the Common Draft Era (since 1967) has won the Offensive Rookie of the Year title. The last audience to do so was Odell Beckham (now of Cleveland) in 2014 of the New York Giants.