2021 NFL Draft: How Trevor Lawrence pick affects Houston Texans
The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. How will the Jaguars’ decision affect the Houston Texans in ’21 and beyond?
This offseason the Jaguars hired Urban Meyer as their new head coach after the franchise finished with the worst record in the NFL last season at 1-15 overall with their lone win coming against the Colts in Week 1. From that point, on the Jaguars lost their next 15 games.
The Texans finished 4-12 last season and now have a new look with a new general manager in Nick Caserio and head coach David Culley as the franchise rebuilds over the next few seasons.
It seems like the Meyer-led Jaguars have found the player they believe will be their franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence for many years to come, and who can blame them? Will Lawrence be the starter when Week 1 arrives for the 2021 season? The probability of him being under center is very high when that game arrives, as he will most likely be the “real deal.”
As for how this affects the Houston Texans, last season two of their four wins came against the Jaguars, so facing a rookie quarterback this season might be an advantage for Houston, but long-term, this pick hurts Houston.
If Trevor Lawrence is as good as advertised, well, the Texans better be investing in pass rushers within the next few seasons, plus add to their secondary in a big way. Lawrence in 2020 at Clemson played in 10 games where he completed 69.2 percent of his passes, totaling 3,153 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. For his three-year career, he threw 90 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and finished with 10,098 passing yards.
The games against the Jaguars will be more competitive than in the past, so there is a lot of tough competition ahead for Houston in the foreseeable future. Houston leads the all-time series vs. Jacksonville, 25-13, winning the past six meetings.
Houston Texans: Time for the defense too improve and improve quickly
With J.J. Watt now with the Arizona Cardinals, his departure will make a difference for Houston in ’21 as his pass rush presence — though not as good as it once was — will still be missed to a certain degree.
Now the Texans pass rush at defensive end includes Charles Omenihu, Derek Rivers, Vincent Taylor, Maliek Collins, Duke Ejiofor, Demarcus Walker and Brandon Dunn. Though they aren’t household names, that group will now be forced to improve greatly from the product that was on the field in ’20.
Omenihu returns with four sacks last season, so he is the player who could stand out in ’21 for the defensive ends of the Texans. Hopefully he can have many meetings with Lawrence in ’21 and in future seasons, as sacks will have to happen for the improvement to happen in the standings.
The addition of Trevor Lawrence with the Jaguars also forces the Texans secondary to be better as well. In fact, the secondary needs to improve more than the defensive line does this upcoming season, and that’s saying something. Now the question is just how long will some of the players in the secondary will be with the Texans after this upcoming season?
At safety, Terrence Brooks, Justin Reid, A.J. Moore and Jonathan Owens all have expiring contracts in 2022, while free safety Eric Murray is under contract until 2023. Top cornerbacks on the Texans roster including Lonnie Johnson, Desmond King, and Bradley Roby stand out the most as who must challenge Lawrence in his rookie season if he’s on the field.
What this first overall pick by the Jaguars does for the Texans is forces them to be improved as an entire unit, because if not, the next decade could be a very tough road ahead if Trevor Lawrence is as good as many believe he can be.