Lawrence significantly brightened Jacksonville’s long-term future the moment he was drafted first overall — he has far more potential than the last two quarterbacks selected in the top 10 by the Jags, Blaine Gabbert and Blake Bortles. But Lawrence also has the capability to impact this team immediately. He’s probably going to have to get comfortable losing regular-season games, which he didn’t do once in college, but Lawrence has the skills to get this franchise going in the right direction in Year 1 — and while that might not result in a ton of wins, it will mark a huge shift in Duval County. After all, Joe Burrow didn’t win more than two games as a starter in his injury-shortened rookie season, but it’s hard to argue he wasn’t successful in 2020, given that he showed himself to be the long-term answer for the Bengals at the game’s most important position.
Lawrence’s near-term prospects look especially promising with new coach Urban Meyer taking significant steps to build around the QB, using two of his first four picks on offensive assistance (running back Travis Etienne and offensive tackle Walker Little) and signing veterans like Marvin Jones and Carlos Hyde. Even the decision to possibly kick the tires on Tim Tebow at camp could end up helping Lawrence, if the former Heisman Trophy winner ends up providing veteran stability in the locker room.