Trevor Lawrence, Gardner Minshew II an 'Open Competition' to Start Week 1 for Jaguars

Adam WellsAugust 12, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 08: Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) during the Jacksonville Jaguars Scrimmage on August 8, 2021 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Trevor Lawrence was unanimously regarded as the best quarterback prospect in years, but the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't guaranteeing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft the starting quarterback job right now. 

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, head coach Urban Meyer said there is an "open competition" between Lawrence and Gardner Minshew II to start in Week 1 against the Houston Texans. 

This would seem to be a case of Meyer playing coy, though there are some reasons to take his comment at face value. 

The Jaguars have not yet announced which quarterback will start their first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on Saturday. 

Both players have received first-team reps throughout training camp. 

Lawrence's status as a top draft prospect dates back three years to his true freshman season at Clemson. He led the Tigers to a 15-0 record and threw for 674 yards with six touchdowns in two College Football Playoff wins over Notre Dame and Alabama. 

While there were questions about which order the other top quarterbacks in the 2021 draft would go, Lawrence was always the No. 1 choice in mocks to Jacksonville. 

"Overall, Lawrence is living up to the hype he received as the top high school quarterback in the country and looks like a Week 1 franchise quarterback with the upside to win multiple MVPs, and only injuries or an incompetent franchise will put him on a path toward failure," according to B/R's NFL Scouting Department.

Even though all of the focus from the outside has been on Lawrence, Minshew has shown a lot of promise over the past two seasons. The 25-year-old has thrown for 5,530 yards with 37 touchdowns and a 62.9 completion percentage in 23 games. 

It would seem unlikely that anyone other than Lawrence opens the season as Jacksonville's starting quarterback, but Minshew's track record does at least suggest he can play at a solid level in the NFL.