Christian Kirk on Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence's growth: 'The light switch is on'
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Christian Kirk on Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence's growth: 'The light switch is on'

Sep 05, 2023

There were few players in the NFL who took more significant steps forward in 2022 than the one taken by Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence. After completing only 59.6% of his passes at an average of just 6.0 yards per attempt, with 12 touchdowns and a league-high 17 interceptions as a rookie, Lawrence saw his completion rate spike to 66.3%, his yards per attempt average jump to 7.0, and he threw 25 touchdown passes against just 8 picks.

Ahead of into Year 3 of Lawrence's NFL career, Jaguars wideout Christian Kirk thinks Lawrence is ready to take another leap.

"The light switch is on," Kirk said at Jaguars camp, according to ESPN. "Everything is just so quick. The way he's able to go through his reads … maybe last year not being able to get to his third progression. Now he's able to get to that and that's a big thing."

Last season, no quarterback threw the ball to his first read more often than did Lawrence, according to the FantasyPoints Data Suite. (He did so 75% of the time, far ahead of the quarterback in second place at 68.7%.) First-read throws are generally more profitable than second- or third-read throws, but obviously, if the first read is not open, getting through the rest of the progression quickly is of great importance.

Lawrence has shown an ability to escape pressure and avoid negative plays, taking sacks on only 4.4% of his dropbacks last season, per Tru Media. That was the fourth-lowest rate among 33 qualified quarterbacks. On plays where he had to scramble and throw, though, there was room for improvement for Lawrence. He completed just 15 of 38 such passes for 166 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions, per Tru Media.

Getting through the progression more quickly so he can throw on platform instead of on the run can help avoid those situations in the first place, and with an improved receiving corps now featuring Calvin Ridley in addition to Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram, Lawrence should also have more opportunities to make plays outside of structure.