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Trevor Lawrence Favored to go 1st Overall in 2021 NFL Draft

A close-up shot of Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence
Bettors can already wager on Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence being the 1st overall NFL Draft pick, even though he isn't eligible until 2021. Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire.
  • True freshman Trevor Lawrence quarterbacked the Clemson Tigers to the 2019 CFP National Championship.
  • He’s not eligible for the NFL Draft until 2021.
  • But BetOnline already has a prop bet listing Lawrence as favorite to go 1st overall.

Trevor Lawrence could tell you that a lot can change in a year’s time. For that matter, so could Tua Tagovailoa.

A year ago, Lawrence was playing high-school football. Today, he is the starting quarterback for the College Football Playoff national champion Clemson Tigers.

A year ago, Tagovailoa came off the bench to replace starter Jalen Hurts and lead the Alabama Crimson Tide to the CFP title. But Monday, it was Tagovailoa who was eventually benched as Clemson blew out Alabama 44-16 in the title game.

Capitalizing on the fervor around Lawrence, BetOnline has already posted a prop listing the 19-year-old as the heavy favorite to go first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Should you jump on him right now or, looking at Tagavailoa’s changing fortunes, assume that even more can change in two years?

Will Trevor Lawrence Go 1st Overall in 2021 NFL Draft?

Will Trevor Lawrence be drafted 1st-overall in 2021? Odds at BetOnline (Jan. 8, 2019)
Yes +100
No -140

The last QB to take Clemson to the CFP national title, DeShaun Watson, was selected 12th overall by the Houston Texans in the 2017 NFL Draft. On the sideline at Monday’s national title game, Watson described Lawrence as a legend.

Is Time On Lawrence’s Side?

Two more years of college football before he’s NFL Draft eligible could prove a double-edged sword for Lawrence. Currently, there’s no question that NFL personnel people are in love with his upside. Some are already calling him the best QB to hit the NCAA since Peyton Manning, who just happens to be Lawrence’s idol.

Two more years to further develop can’t hurt him, but you know what could hurt him – a knee injury,  a shoulder injury, or any other debilitating setback.

Consider the two redshirt freshmen who’ve won Heisman Trophy – Johnny Manziel (2012) and Jameis Winston (2013). Neither is beating a path to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The only other true freshman to QB a national championship team was Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway in 1985. He tore his ACL as a junior and saw a brief NFL career in 1989-90 with the Oakland Raiders, ending up like Manziel in the CFL.

Are You An Optimist Or A Pessimist?

Lawrence is called “Sunshine,” after the Ronnie Bass character in Remember The Titans. The future certainly looks bright for a guy who was attending his high-school prom less than a year ago.

Lawrence is clearly a generational player, a guy like Manning or Dan Marino who can instantly transform an NFL team into a contender. Unless catastrophe is in his immediate future, he is going to go no. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Yes, injuries happen. But when it comes to this futures bet, the smarter wager is that it won’t.

Top NFL prospects are becoming better and better at protecting themselves. Just look at the number of future first and second-rounders who sat out bowl games this year. Nick Bosa shut down his season entirely after three games and the Ohio State edge rusher will still probably be the #1 pick in 2019.

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An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.