Welcome to draft week!
While the 2021 NFL Draft offers a multitude of questions, the very top of the draft has been known for months — even if the Jacksonville Jaguars continue to play coy.
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell opens the draft Thursday night in Cleveland, Trevor Lawrence will be the first name called.
In an interview with Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Jags owner Shad Khan once again wouldn’t openly state Lawrence will be the No. 1 pick but did discuss the transformative nature the selection will have on the organization.
“If you know anything about football, if you know anything about the Jaguars, yeah,” Khan told Breer with a laugh. “But this is a decision that … it’s gonna define us, certainly for the rest of my life. And everything I read and hear from people who know a lot more about football than I do, for them, it’s like stating the obvious.”
The Jags owner knows selecting Lawrence will immediately ratchet up the expectations.
“The Jaguars, being among the two youngest teams in the league, I can talk about my nine years — it’s by far the most important time for the Jaguars,” Khan continued. “That’s why I think having Urban [Meyer] leading the team, and where we ended up with the season, I knew that this would be arguably the most important decision I’d be making, maybe in my lifetime. How the stars aligned … it’s something that can really secure the future for the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
Landing the No. 1 pick and the ability to draft a franchise-shifting talent helped Jacksonville hire Meyer, which has laid a foundation that Khan believes can help turn Jacksonville around. Khan knows how quickly things in the NFL can turn from good to bad and back again.
“I mean, it’s surreal,” Khan told Breer. “It’s like you can see the promised land. But I gotta tell you, three years ago, we were in the [AFC] Championship Game, and so, so close to being in the Super Bowl. I mean, hard to believe — three years ago! So this, it’s different. All the pieces are aligned, this isn’t a one-off, you’re setting the path for sustainable success.”
The Jags have done the dance — talking about Lawrence without directly saying they’re drafting Lawrence — all draft season. Come Thursday, they’ll make the pick officially official.
Want to create your own mock for the 2021 NFL Draft? Check out PFF’s draft simulator to play out countless scenarios for every team spanning all seven rounds.
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