Los Angeles – Try as teams might, the Jacksonville Jaguars are not planning to part with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jacksonville is expected to select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence first overall next Thursday when the draft begins with the Jaguars on the clock for the first time under the power structure of general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Urban Meyer.
“We’ve fielded a couple of calls, but I think we’re going to hold tight,” Baalke said of trade interest in the No. 1 pick. “Again that decision is made organizationally and our ownership is involved with that as well.”
Meyer claimed Wednesday in the joint video conference the Jaguars haven’t finalized plans for the top pick. He said that could come this week during a meeting with owner Shad Khan.
“Ultimately, the owner is going to pull that ticket on that one,” Meyer said. “We’re going to have a great meeting and I imagine we’ll get closer to a decision.”
The rest of the world expects Lawrence to go No. 1.
Seemingly destined to be the No. 1 slot since his fantastic freshman season, Lawrence passed for 10,098 yards and 90 touchdowns with 17 interceptions for the Tigers. He ended his college career at 34-2, third-best all-time among quarterbacks with at least 30 starts (Ken Dorsey and Matt Leinart are first and second).
Meyer was coaxed out of retirement to coach the team and Baalke joined the franchise after previously serving as a scout and general manager of the San Francisco 49ers.
They’ve spent hours with Lawrence and have been evaluating his game, while also tapping into those closest to him — former teammates and coaches — to erase any hidden concern about his future.
“No negatives,” Baalke said of what he found researching and scouting Lawrence. “You’re always looking for the stars to align when you’re looking at prospects — whether that be from a physical, mental, character … whatever the case may be. With his situation, like many others in this draft, the stars all align. And that’s what you’re looking for.”
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