Jaguars coach Urban Meyer leaves door open for non-Trevor Lawrence pick in NFL Draft

It didn’t take long for newly hired Jaguars coach Urban Meyer to stir up debate around the 2021 NFL Draft.

Meyer, retired from coaching since December 2018, met with media for the first time on Friday. He answered myriad questions on a variety of topics, including the importance of having the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

“Huge,” Meyer said of its impact in deciding to coach Jacksonville. “I think (owner Shad Khan) and the organization is positioned and it’s not by accident. It’s primed to put together a good team.”

MORE: How Meyer, Jags can avoid ruining Lawrence after picking him in NFL draft

Meyer also answered a question pertaining to the quarterbacks available in the 2021 draft. Most media and organizations — Sporting News included — project the Jaguars to select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick. The 6-6, 220-pound prospect has the makings of a generational talent, and has long been considered a lock for the spot since his freshman campaign with the Tigers.

Meyer, however, mentioned three quarterbacks when discussing the 2021 class:

“Well you see Trevor, you see Justin (Fields), you see Zach (Wilson),” Meyer said. “You know, this is going to be, as Shad said, this is a monumental moment for this franchise. And we’ve seen some franchises explode, and we’ve seen others fail.

“I’ve said this many times throughout my career, is that when the NFL says it’s a quarterback league, I would say, ‘Well so is college. And so is high school. So is Pop Warner. It’s a quarterback sport.’ So whoever takes that snap, we’ve got to be right on.”

To be fair, Meyer wouldn’t be doing his job if he dismissed all other quarterbacks and focused solely on Lawrence with the top overall pick. Indeed, SN’s Vinnie Iyer projects both Fields (No. 2) and Wilson (No. 8) as top 10-worthy picks. He also has North Dakota State’s Trey Lance (No. 12), Alabama’s Mac Jones (No. 20) and Florida’s Kyle Trask (No. 24) as being worthy of a first-round pick.

That said, Lawrence is the prototype of the modern NFL quarterback with rarely seen arm strength and athleticism. Meyer shouldn’t have to think about this decision too hard.

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