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Jacksonville's Urban renewal begins with QB Trevor Lawrence

·2 min read

1, 25. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-15)

LAST SEASON: Jacksonville dropped its final 15 games, a franchise-record skid that got general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone fired. The losing streak also allowed the Jaguars to land the No. 1 pick for the first time in their 26-year history. Hello, Trevor Lawrence! Jacksonville has used six starting quarterbacks in the past three years: Gardner Minshew, Jake Luton, Mike Glennon, Nick Foles, Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler. That inconsistency at the all-important position has led to a 12-36 record since making the AFC championship game in 2017.

FREE AGENCY: With more money and more holes than anyone else, Jacksonville chose the value route. New coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke avoided the highest-priced free agents and ended up signing 14 newcomers, including WR Marvin Jones, CB Shaquil Griffin, S Rayshawn Jenkins and DL Roy Robertson-Harris. Jacksonville also traded for DT Malcom Brown. The most surprising decision was re-signing more than a dozen guys from the previous regime, including LT Cam Robinson, DE Dawuane Smoot and CBs Tre Herndon and Sidney Jones.

THEY NEED: QB, S, TE, DL, OLB, RB.

THEY DON’T NEED: OL, WR, ILB, CB, P, K.

POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Clemson’s Lawrence is the slam-dunk choice, pairing him and Meyer as the faces of the franchise for the foreseeable future.

OUTLOOK: It’s no coincidence that Meyer’s foray into the NFL comes with a team he can shape quickly. The longtime college coach with three national championships has 10 draft picks, including five of the first 65 selections, and will put his blueprint on a small-market franchise that has enjoyed little success over the past two decades. Knowing Lawrence was a viable QB option surely swayed Meyer’s decision to leave the broadcast booth and return to the sideline. Lawrence is widely regarded as the most NFL-ready QB prospect since Andrew Luck and should give Meyer and Jacksonville a chance for early and sustained success.

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The Associated Press