I already came out March 5, 2021 and said that there is a “strong chance Trevor Lawrence will be a bust.” and it appears now I was a good month ahead of the curve after reading his most recent comments in Sports Illustrated. I mean I already listed the ten concerns I had about Lawrence, but if there was ever a red-flag, this would be it.
Lawrence boldly told Sports Illustrated recently, “I want people to know that I’m passionate about what I do and it’s really important to me, but…I don’t have this huge chip on my shoulder, that everyone’s out to get me and I’m trying to prove everybody wrong,” he says. “I just don’t have that. I can’t manufacture that. I don’t want to.”
Then his new bride Marissa quickly adds, “There’s also more in life than playing football.”
Lawrence continues on, “I think it’s unhealthy to a certain extent, just always thinking that you’ve got to prove somebody wrong, you’ve got to do more, you’ve got to be better.”
Then even Lawrence’s father weighs in on the issue saying, “He’s not award-driven. He’s not, “I want to win a Super Bowl at all costs.”
“There is no doubt about it: With who he is as a person, he could walk away from it tomorrow and be fine,” adds his high school coach, Joey King.
The article states that “Lawrence knows his words will get twisted and used against him. He doesn’t seem too worried about it.”
I respect Lawrence’s transparency and his boldness. I will also go as far as saying from a psychological and spiritual standpoint that he is not wrong. What we call “greatness” often stems from a “competitive nature,” which translates into having low self-esteem. Saying the player is competitive just sounds better. We have all heard about that coveted “chip on the shoulder,” the likes of Tom Brady and Randy Moss have used to climb Mt. Saint Greatness in the National Football League. Brady has played like he has been pissed off at the world for the past twenty years after the league passed him by about six times over. We also saw what Randy Moss thought of the Dallas Cowboys for passing him over when he destroyed them on Thanksgiving Day some years ago.
Lawrence does not need to worry about me as an evaluator twisting his words around – I would not dream of it. I want to personally thank him for his words, which is why I included them word for word, quote, unquote. However, the responsibility of all of this does not fall on Lawrence. He is sitting at the poker table cards face up. The responsibility falls on the NFL teams and the personnel people sitting in war-rooms across this country.
I also appreciate what those closest to Lawrence had to say. I mean teams pay a small fortune to employ ex-FBI Directors and high-ranking security officers and firms to dig for the kind of stuff Lawrence candidly tells Sports Illustrated. Lawrence’s wife, his father, his high school coach, and those closest to him are all screaming through a megaphone that he does not really give a damn.
We need to listen.
In my 40 years of being around the game, I have never seen a prospect come out and talk the way Lawrence has – especially right before the draft. If I am a GM, I am pulling his name off my board right now. I already had a laundry list of concerns, to begin with, way before all the “experts,” started weighing in. I am out and teams would be wise to follow suit. If I am a guy like Trent Baalke, the Jaguars new GM, there is no way in God’s green earth, am I rolling the dice on my second chance of being a GM on a guy who is this comfortable telling me the world he can take it or leave it. If there has ever been a red flag this is it and only a fool would draft Lawrence and I say that as respectfully as I can. I just do not see how this translates to winning and winning is the bottom line – in the NFL.
And here is the part that bothers me the most. It is entirely possible it is Jesus Christ who drives Lawrence, but he does not come out and boldly say that either. Instead, he boldly talks about what does not drive him, which is fine. However, what about what drives him? Lawrence cannot just be all about “What does not drive me.” He needs to give equal play to what does drive him. The article kind of dances around his Christianity saying, “He is a passionate believer but on his terms.” It says, “Lawrence will be the Christian he wants to be and the football player he wants to be.” The writer speaks for him. Lawrence does not speak for himself boldly about Christ-like he does with his other profound statements. This is my newest and my 11th red flag. Had Lawrence said, “I am driven by Jesus Christ and glorifying Him with my life,” like Tim Tebow basically did, I could accept that as his driver. I would not even write this article had he said that. Granted, there is an outside chance Lawrence is like St. Francis of Assisi who said, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.” That is distinctly possible. However, the fact Lawrence had a chance to tell the world what really drives him in Sports Illustrated and he kind of skirted around it really troubles me. He had a chance to proclaim Christ, but instead, he threw it away. It clearly shows his lack of convictions as a leader.
Why? Out of fear? Was it censored? Does he covet the NFL paycheck and he does not want to be too over the top about his Christian beliefs at this point? Does he want to get drafted more than he wants to proclaim Christ? I need an answer – and so does the rest of the league. Otherwise, Lawrence is proving through his words he lacks real leadership ability, which is the biggest red flag of them all. If he turns out to be like St. Francis of Assisi, I stand corrected. Outside of that, I predict an NFL paycheck will only make him softer.
In a feature story about Lawrence, he himself never really does say what specifically drives him. He never tells us what his why is. He leaves that blank. I think the real answer is he is just a guy who has skated by on raw ability who has taken advantage of lesser levels of competition. He is someone who has manipulated and momentarily held college defenses through the use of constant play-action fakes and pump fakes who will not be able to do that in the NFL. That is not how the NFL works. Lawrence is about to be exposed and the GM who drafts him is about to get fired.
There is now a 90 percent chance Trevor Lawrence will be a bust.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.
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