Trevor Lawrence sparkles in 52-throw Pro Day exhibition

Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence warming up under the watchful eye of Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer in the background. (Photo courtesy of David Platt/Clemson Athletics)

Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence warming up under the watchful eye of Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer in the background. (Photo courtesy of David Platt/Clemson Athletics)

Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was an AJC Super 11 pick when at Cartersville High, breezed through a 52-throw passing exhibition Friday on his Pro Day at the school’s Poe Indoor Facility.

A total of 17 NFL teams, including the Falcons, were on hand for his workout. Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith were on hand.

However, Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer was on the field with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, watching the workout from in front of the center. The Jaguars hold the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, which is set for April 29-May 1.

The Falcons hold the fourth overall pick.

“It was a good day kind of considering the short notice,” Lawrence said during his interview with ESPN2. “I prepared for a week back in California then I obviously transitioned back to (South) Carolina to put the finishing touches on. Get with the guys, get some timing down. But, man, I was pretty pleased with it. Obviously, you have some throws that you’d go back and wish you’d hit a little bit better.”

Lawrence started with a short 11-yard route out to his right. Then the same route to his left.

He was on the mark with most of this throws, but he had some drops from his receivers. He also missed on a couple of red-zone throws in the back of the end zone that sailed on him. He finished with three deep throws that traveled 57, 59 and 57 yards in the air.

Lawrence, the consensus projected No. 1 overall pick, didn’t have to throw.

“Just to show that I’m no different than anybody else,” Lawrence said. “I still want to do the process the right way. The original plan was to have two months training out in California. Then come back March 11 and put on a show. Life happens sometimes.

“Just having to adjust and showing that I’m able to adjust and adapt and still willing to come out here and throw, give teams a chance to see me. That was important to me and my team to make sure that we made that happen.”

Lawrence is set to have surgery on his left non-throwing shoulder to repair his labrum and moved his workout up from Clemson’s Pro Day on March 11.

“I think I can throw in six to eight weeks after the surgery, then looking at four to five months (before) full clearance,” Lawrence said. “Just glad it’s the non-throwing shoulder.”

Lawrence noticed that Meyer was on the field, while the rest of the NFL executives, coaches and scouts were along the sidelines.

“I saw him,” Lawrence said. “I saw a lot of the guys coming through. I saw him. I just waved at him real quick. Can’t really communicate out there. But it’s been cool to see all of the teams come out.”

Lawrence plans to continue working on his footwork and pocket presence.

“Mentally, the game is different at the NFL level,” Lawrence said.

The other top quarterbacks in the draft also will draw a crowd. North Dakota State’s Trey Lance is set to throw March 12. BYU’s Zach Wilson will throw March 26 and Ohio State’s Justin Fields (Harrison High) on March 30.

Lawrence had one of the more celebrated careers by a quarterback in college football history from 2018-20. He led Clemson to a national championship as a freshman in 2018. He finished his career going 34-2 (.944) as a starter, the third-best winning percentage by a starting quarterback with at least 30 career starts since Division I split in 1978, trailing only Miami’s Ken Dorsey (.950) and USC’s Matt Leinart (.949), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Lawrence was a four-year starter in high school and went 52-2, including a 41-game win streak and 14-2 record in the playoffs. He led his team to four region titles and two state titles.

He finished with 13,908 passing yards and 161 touchdowns against 21 interceptions over his high school career.

In 2001, the Falcons held the fifth overall pick and traded up with the San Diego Chargers to land the No. 1 overall pick and select quarterback Michael Vick.

Falcons’ 2021 draft position:

In the Cincinnati Bengals media mock draft, writer Geoff Hobson pays tribute to former Yahoo Sports writer Terez Paylor, who died in his sleep Monday. D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution selected Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields for the Falcons with the fourth overall pick and Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the second round.

Top five picks

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

2. New York Jets - Ja’ Marr Chase, WR, LSU

3. Miami Dolphins (via Houston) - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

4. Falcons - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

5. Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon


35. Falcons - ILB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

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