FILE - Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence has gone first in the NFL Draft, going to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP
FILE - Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence has gone first in the NFL Draft, going to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Jags make Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence top pick in NFL Draft

By AFP Time of article published May 1, 2021

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LOS ANGELES – The Jacksonville Jaguars selected gridiron prodigy Trevor Lawrence with the top pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday, hopefully acquiring the franchise quarterback they have long sought.

The move had been virtually certain ever since the Jaguars were assured of the No. 1 overall pick in December, when they finished with the NFL's worst record of 1-15.

The long-haired Lawrence went 34-2 in three years as a starter at Clemson University.

At 6ft 6in (1.98m) and 220 pounds (100kg) the 21-year-old has physical presence to go with a powerful arm and rare deep-ball accuracy and is already being mentioned in the same breath as NFL icons such as Peyton Manning and John Elway.

"Pretty surreal," Lawrence told ESPN's Marty Smith on the draft telecast from Seneca, South Carolina, shortly after his selection was announced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio.

"Obviously this has been the dream for the past few years. And like I've said, I didn't even dream this as a kid so (it's) really special and just having all the people that I care about here watching, it's really hard to explain.

"I was super nervous before and just am so excited to be a part of the Jacksonville community.

"I'm super excited to be coming to Jacksonville and play for you guys and can't wait to go to work," added Lawrence, who is expected to step in as a starter immediately for new Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer as they try to turn around the fortunes of a club that has lost 10 or more games in nine of the past 10 seasons.

Quarterbacks went one-two-three as the New York Jets took Zach Wilson with the number two selection and the San Francisco 49ers selected Trey Lance.

Wilson led Brigham Young University to an 11-1 record in 2020, finishing with 3,692 passing yards, completing a career-best 73.5 percent of his passes with 33 touchdowns and added 10 scores on the ground.

Lance, a lesser-known product of North Dakota State University who won't turn 21 until May 9, could spend at least part of his rookie NFL season backing up 49ers starter Jimmy Garoppolo.

Lance has a lower division collegiate championship to his credit from the 2019 season, but he played just one game last autumn as the university opted out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Atlanta Falcons used their fourth overall selection to take dynamic tight end Kyle Pitts, providing another weapon for an offense now led by quarterback Matt Ryan.

The Cincinnati Bengals grabbed Louisiana State University wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase with the fifth selection.

The move reunited Chase with Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow after they played together on LSU's 2019 national championship-winning team.

The Chicago Bears made Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields the 11th overall pick, trading up nine spots to get him.

This is the second time in four years the Bears have traded up to grab a quarterback they wanted. In 2017, Chicago moved up one spot to No. 2 overall to select Mitchell Trubisky.

The Bears have since parted ways with Trubisky, who they chose one spot ahead of quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

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