Should Trevor Lawrence Avoid or Embrace the Jets?

Natalie Wells

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence gets engaged October 28th, Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence was scratched from a duel with Boston College after testing positive for COVID-19. Arguably college football’s best talent since his freshman year, several desperate NFL fanbases have campaigned to “Tank for Trevor.” This year, the New York Jets are the frontrunners for this special consolation prize. The one problem is that they have been toxic to any talent to set foot in the organization lately. Lawrence has a decision to make: should he remain at Clemson for his senior season, running the risk of lowering his stock? Or should he enter the 2021 NFL Draft, assuming the responsibility of single-handedly keeping an organization afloat?

Considered one of the best high school quarterback prospects of all time, Lawrence committed to Clemson in 2016 after lighting up the field in Cartersville, Georgia. As a true freshman, he assumed the starting role in four games, swiftly capturing the hearts of Tigers fans and the media alike. He won the ACC Rookie of the Year as well as the National Championship in 2018. Of course, his extraordinary performance has been under the media microscope. Because of his positive virus test, Lawrence lost ground in the race for the Heisman Trophy to contenders such as Alabama’s Mac Jones and Florida’s Kyle Trask.

As Clemson is on top of the figurative college football mountain, the New York Jets are in the NFL’s deepest valley. With the regular season approaching its fourteenth week, the Jets have yet to scrape together a win. They’re utterly dysfunctional on every organizational level, but the spotlight has mainly shone on head coach Adam Gase and quarterback Sam Darnold. Gase, a supposed “offensive mastermind,” can’t call effective plays, and Darnold hasn’t done much to bail him out. 

Assuming the Jets keep their tank train chugging, they will hold the first overall pick in next year’s draft. If he enters his name, Lawrence will almost certainly be selected to lift the organization out of NFL purgatory. There’s always a chance he returns to Clemson because the Jets are just that poisonous to young talent. But this case is different.

Lawrence is one of the few talents that can come straight out of college and make an immediate impact on a professional football team. We are seeing this occur with Joe Burrow- the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback selected first overall in April. A surefire candidate for Rookie of the Year before tearing up his knee, Burrow had a fantastic freshman season in the NFL. Lawrence could follow his blueprint, and he can become the king of New YorkTrevor Lawrence has the Clemson Tigers set to dominate - Business Insider

Of course, it’s possible that Lawrence decides to stay at Clemson for one more year. He could add that Heisman Trophy to his laundry list of achievements and cement himself as one of the best college football players of all time. Or, he could potentially injure himself and lower his draft stock significantly. It’s also another year of performance without pay, thanks to the NCAA’s NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) rules. He needs to go professional this year while his window is still golden.

Some may point to Jets general manager Joe Douglas’s recent comments on Sam Darnold, proclaiming he’s “our quarterback for the future.” Nonetheless, lots can change in the course of a few months. Lawrence will be the undisputed top talent in the 2021 draft class, and the Jets simply need the best player available. New York notoriously has a reputation for destroying quarterbacks’ professional careers, but Trevor Lawrence can be the one to break that precedent.