ESPN’s Ryan Clark isn’t totally enamored with Trevor Lawrence (for some reason)

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Tigers. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Tigers. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

ESPN’s Ryan Clark doesn’t think Trevor Lawrence is all that special.

Apparently, not everyone under the sun loves Trevor Lawrence.

ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark appeared on Get Up! Tuesday morning, offering some interesting criticism of the projected top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft who has teams lining up to Tank for Trevor. No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Clark’s alma mater LSU Tigers defeated Lawrence’s Clemson Tigers for the 2019 National Championship back in January. Clark has doubts about Lawrence being a transcendent player, as he sees some red flags in his game.

“Do I think he has every measurable you need?” said Clark. “Do I think he’s going to be an excellent professional football quarterback? I do. But right now, looking at Trevor Lawrence — even though he has a transcendent talent level — I have not seen a transcendent football player.”

Clark stressed on Lawrence being propped up by great talents around him such as running back Travis Etienne and wide receivers Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross. While his criticism of Lawrence’s tendency to be errant with his throws is certainly fair, dogging the guy for playing in the ACC seems a bit harsh.

“You go early last season, he struggled. Then he hit a stretch against ACC talent that we barely even got to watch, and I only watch because of this job,” Clark said. “We saw him struggle against Ohio State, which is when I gained a lot of respect for him, because he found other ways to get a win.”

“But in the biggest moments, in the best of times when they needed him last year, I don’t think he was great. And that is important to remember because the two times we needed Deshaun (Watson) as a Clemson Tiger, he showed up against Alabama and he was spectacular, he was the best player on the field. I haven’t seen that from Trevor Lawrence.”

Is Ryan Clark fair in his criticism of Trevor Lawrence as a quarterback?

To date, Lawrence has lost one game to date in his two years at Clemson. It just so happened to be against Clark’s alma mater. Let’s be real for just a second. Every team in college football the last few years would have lost to the 2019 LSU squad. We’re talking about one of the five greatest college teams we’ve seen in the last 30 years or so. Let’s not beat him up for losing to LSU.

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While the first half of his sophomore season didn’t see Lawrence at his best, he was a true sophomore who guided his team to the national title game two years in a row. The reason Lawrence is projected to go No. 1 overall next spring is because of his undeniable upside. At 6-foot-6, good mobility and an arm to make all the throws, he could be the next John Elway or Peyton Manning.

If there are any issues with what Clark said about Lawrence, it’s this. It doesn’t matter the ACC has been down the last two years. Clemson has dominated its conference to the point where it faces all the other major blue-blood programs of note in the playoff annually. As for being propped up by talent around him, you can say that about every top-10 program in the country, especially LSU!

That LSU team Burrow guided to a national title was dripping with more talent than Lawrence had to work with at Clemson last year, and his team was absolutely freaking loaded. So let’s not nitpick a quarterback three years Burrow’s senior off one playoff game. Lawrence has started in four playoff games thus far and has three of them. He’s essentially guaranteed to play in five.

Even with criticism, Lawrence should go No. 1 next spring because he is a transcendent player.

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