NFL draft analyst compares Trevor Lawrence to Deshaun Watson


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NFL draft analyst compares Trevor Lawrence to Deshaun Watson

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah put together his first analysis of Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, who is widely considered as the top prospect for the 2021 NFL draft.

Jeremiah built his draft evaluation off of the 2019 games with Texas A&M, South Carolina and Ohio State. Lawrence reminded him of another former Tiger QB.

"There really isn't a comparison for Lawrence because of his unique measurables and athleticism," Jeremiah said. "However, if you look at every current starting NFL quarterback, I believe he compares most favorably to a man who preceded him at Clemson, Deshaun Watson. Both players have lean, athletic frames and they are both capable of making winning plays from inside and outside the pocket. They can both drive the ball effectively and they share a competitiveness that's obvious on tape.

"While they are effective runners, they find success on the ground in different ways. Watson is more elusive, while Lawrence has more pure speed. Watson has emerged as one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL, and Lawrence has the upside to join him in that group in the near future."

Jeremiah wasn't without criticisms for the QB through two years at the college level.

"He has too many underthrown deep balls from the pocket and his placement when on the move is spotty," Jeremiah said. "If he works to square his shoulders when outside the pocket, that should really improve his accuracy in that department. Also, I love how quickly he gets to the second and third read in his progression with his eyes, but there are plays where his feet aren't married to his vision and that affects his accuracy."

Lawrence has already made two national championship game appearances with one national title, passing for 3,665 yards with 36 TDs to eight interceptions with 563 rushing yards and nine more TDs as a sophomore. Continuing the comparison to a former Tiger, Watson put together one of his best seasons as a sophomore, throwing for 4,104 yards with 35 TDs to 13 interceptions and rushing for 1,105 yards and 12 more scores. He built on that as a junior with 4,593 passing yards with 41 TDs to 17 INTs.

"Lawrence has all of the necessary tools to emerge as an elite quarterback at the next level. However, there is still some development needed," Jeremiah said. "He's not at the same level of consistency that (Andrew) Luck displayed during his time at Stanford. I'm not talking about the statistics -- I'm talking about the overall command and ownership of every key situation. I think Lawrence can -- and will get -- to that level, but he's not quite there yet."

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