The Jacksonville Jaguars will be taking Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall, and they’ve got a plan for a veteran backup to mentor him.
The 2021 NFL Draft will start with the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall, and they aren’t even trying to hide it. Behind him, on the depth chart once he is a Jaguar, for now, is Gardner Minshew, C.J. Beathard and Jake Luton. Minshew is a candidate to be traded, perhaps during the draft.
Lawrence will be the starter right out of the gate, no doubt about it. But the backup quarterback situation has to be a concern for Urban Meyer, and during an appearance on The Michael Irvin Podcast last week the Jaguars’ head coach revealed a plan involving someone very familiar to him.
Will the Jaguars sign Alex Smith?
Meyer coached Alex Smith for two seasons at Utah, including an undefeated season in 2004. The two have maintained a relationship in the years since.
Via USA Today, here’s what Meyer said about Smith and if the Jaguars will be able to sign him to mentor Lawrence in Jacksonville.
"“I wanted him here. You know, we talked to him about joining here. He’s had a tough injury. Of all the players I’ve ever coached, and I would tell people this when people didn’t know how tough he was, he’s one of the toughest cats I’ve ever been around.We had conversations with him. There are some medical people in our organization that were very concerned. And remember, our GM [Trent Baalke] actually drafted Alex at San Francisco. So you have two people in Jacksonville that love Alex. It was that was deeper than a player, now. He’s like our family. Both of us feel so strongly about them. But that’s something that we’re just going to keep an eye on because I hope he comes back.”"
The lingering medical concerns attached to Smith after his severe leg injury in 2018 are well-founded, and there have been indications he wants an opportunity to play wherever he signs. By most accounts, there’s been little doubt Smith wants to continue his career, despite no formal announcement either way from him. So Meyer’s indication there’s some doubt there is notable.
As a mentor for Lawrence and a capable fill-in, if needed, Smith and the Jaguars look like a great fit. Meyer hopes to make it happen if Smith is willing.