This Former NFL Coach Wouldn’t Take Trevor Lawrence First

Trevor Lawrence

This Former NFL Coach Wouldn’t Take Trevor Lawrence First | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

The dismantling of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence continued this week as a former NFL head coach said he’s only the third best quarterback in this year’s draft class. Who is this former coach, and who does he have at the top of the draft class?

The NFL media is hungry for news now that the season is over, and without the combine to allow them the chance to wine and dine their sources this year, contact lists are being exhausted as writers look for soundbites and quotes to turn into headlines.

One of the people who was called this week was former Falcons and Chargers head coach June Jones who was asked about this year’s quarterback class by Yahoo Sports.

Jones said during a telephone interview of the presumptive first overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, “I do like (Trevor Lawrence) … but I would not take him with the first pick. Everyone is saying that’s the guy at one. But I would trade that pick and take one of these other quarterbacks down the line.”

Two of those “other” quarterbacks that Jones likes is Zach Wilson from BYU, who many have had rising on their draft boards for weeks and who the former head coach likes as the second-best in this year’s class. However, above him is a surprising name to some, Alabama’s Mac Jones. Jones, who led the Crimson Tide to a national title last month over Ohio State, earned high praise from June Jones, who explained why he thinks this quarterback is the best in this year’s draft.

“Mac’s deep-ball accuracy is probably the best that I have graded in my years of coaching quarterbacks,” said the former head coach. “He’s almost at 55 percent at over 20 yards, which is unbelievable.”

Mac Jones actually completed 58.9% of his deep passes this year, with nearly two thirds of his pass attempts deemed catchable by those who track such stats. Zach Wilson completed the same percentage of deep passes, but had more yards gained in those passes, giving Jones the edge.

I will note that the phone interview took place while June Jones, who also coached at the University of Hawaii, was at his home in Honolulu. I bring this up since it tells me that the 68-year-old is not looking to make headlines, but rather give his honest evaluation of this year’s quarterback draft class.

Jones doesn’t mind that Mac Jones can’t run like Lawrence or Justin Fields, who he doesn’t believe is worthy of a first-round draft pick. That’s because the former pass-first head coach sees the quarterback as a big play weapon, and doesn’t dwell on the running abilities of players like Lawrence or Lamar Jackson since he doesn’t appear to believe those types of players can win Super Bowls.

There are as many quarterbacks in this year’s draft class as there are good wines on a dinner menu, with the preferred taste of the person looking at the menu leading them to like and dislike one quarterback over another. 

June Jones, a coach who liked to throw it deep, wants the big-armed quarterbacks to help him do that, while others may not mind shortening the career of Lawrence in order to win games early, and let him burn out the back end of his career.

What I have noticed so far is that Zach Wilson has consistently been ranked second by most people willing to offer such opinions on this year’s draft class, with everyone else dancing around him in QB draft rankings. This means that there could be some trades high in the first round this year, with teams moving up and down hoping to land their favorite quarterback while maybe scoring some extra draft picks. It also means those teams who take QBs will be judge not only by how well their selections do, but how the rest of the draft class fares. Meaning the pressure is on in NFL War Rooms, with the final grades for general managers not expected for years, making the next two months exciting. 

 


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This Former NFL Coach Wouldn’t Take Trevor Lawrence First | TooAthletic.com

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