Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said Wednesday he was pretty confident by March that the Jags were going to select him with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
Lawrence, the consensus top prospect for the entire college football season, told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk there weren't any guarantees ahead of the April 29 event but he read the tea leaves like pretty much anyone else.
"I'm a guy that never really wants to put the cart before the horse," the Clemson star said. "I didn't make many assumptions. I probably knew sometime in March. I was thinking like, 'This is probably going in this direction.' You never want to say for sure that something's going to happen. I was keeping all my options open and just trying to stay ready for whatever. I knew that was likely going to be the spot where I land. I kind of figured there."
Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer hadn't tried to play the franchise's cards too close to the vest during an interview with NBC Sports' Peter King in late March when asked whether Lawrence was the choice.
"Uh, I'd have to say that's the direction we're going," Meyer said. "I'll leave that up to the owner when we make that decision official. But I'm certainly not stepping out of line that that's certainly the direction we're headed."
So the selection of Lawrence didn't come as a surprise to anybody. He was a 5-star prospect coming out of high school and built on that potential while at Clemson, making him the most highly touted quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck came out of Stanford in 2012.
The 2020 ACC Player of the Year also addressed the moment the Jags tried called him on draft night to make the pick official—only to have their first three attempts go unanswered.
"I don't know [what happened], honestly," he told Florio. "I was sitting there by my phone. Had my Bose headphones in there, just waiting. I live kind of in the woods in South Carolina. That was where my place was, and the service was terrible. I guess that's what it was. People were texting me like, 'I didn't know you hung up on them three times in a row.' And I'm like, 'I didn't even get the calls.'"
Lawrence is expected to take over the Jacksonville offense right away, and he's got plenty of talent around him to make a serious push toward Rookie of the Year honors.
The 21-year-old Tennessee native is surrounded by running backs James Robinson and Carlos Hyde as well as wide receivers DJ Chark Jr., Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. Clemson teammate Travis Etienne, the team's other first-round pick, is expected to play a hybrid role within the offense.
Lawrence and Co. are scheduled to kick off the regular season Sept. 12 at the Houston Texans.