It is extensively assumed that when the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock with the No. 1 total choose on the 2021 NFL Draft, it will not take them too lengthy to make their choice official. The worst stored secret within the league is that the Jags can be taking quarterback Trevor Lawrence on the prime total spot because the Clemson phenom has been the presumptive No. 1 choose courting again to when he first arrived on campus and led the Tigers to a nationwide title throughout his freshman season in 2018. Whereas Lawrence will seemingly be the primary title off the board, he will not be the primary draftee to shake the hand of commissioner Roger Godell as he enters the league.
In keeping with Adam Schefter of ESPN, Lawrence has declined the invitation to attend the draft — which can be held in Cleveland — and can as a substitute be watching it at Clemson with family and friends.
Whereas it is typical to see the No. 1 total choose undergo all of the pomp and circumstance of speaking to the stage, placing on his new group’s hat, and elevating up a jersey alongside Goodell, this is not unprecedented. Quarterbacks Jameis Winston (2015) and Baker Mayfield (2018) together with move rusher Myles Garrett (2017) are some latest examples of No. 1 total picks opting to remain at house as they undergo this main life occasion. In fact, 2020 prime choose Joe Burrow additionally spent final yr’s draft distant, however that call was out of his management as all the spectacle was completed by way of videoconferencing as a result of pandemic.
Not like final yr when unique draft plans wanted to be scrapped resulting from COVID-19, the NFL world can be in Cleveland for this yr’s draft festivities. The league not too long ago introduced that followers can be in attendance for the draft that may happen throughout varied places in Cleveland, together with FirstEnergy Stadium, the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame, and the Nice Lakes Science Facilities. A choose variety of prospects can even take the stage; nonetheless, Lawrence is not going to be amongst them.
Regardless of Lawrence not being there to soak up all of the hoopla of draft night time in particular person, that may hardly take away from the joy of him coming into the NFL. He is been billed as one of the polished prospects to ever enter the league and has been spoken in the identical breath as Andrew Luck, John Elway, and Peyton Manning after they have been popping out of faculty. If he can reside as much as that kind of hype, the Jaguars can be sitting fairly for the subsequent decade-plus.
In the meantime, the 2021 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 29 at 8 p.m. ET and runs by way of Saturday, Could 1.