CLEMSON — Are NFL teams tanking for Clemson junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence?
Through Week 5, three teams - the New York Giants and Jets and Atlanta Falcons - each have an 0-5 record.
Whether or not tanking is actually taking place, only those teams know the answer. But however anyone arrives at drafting Lawrence, his head coach Dabo Swinney made the pitch for them to do so.
"Well, I don't have any thoughts about the New York stuff but as far as Trevor as a quarterback prospect, I don't know what you could want that he doesn't possess," Swinney said during a weekly press conference with the media on Tuesday, specifically asked about the New York teams making a move for Lawrence.
"So that's the best way I can answer that. I mean, there's nothing — there's nothing that you could desire to have in a quarterback that's not there. You want size? You got it. You want a guy that could run? You got it. You want a guy that has great football IQ? You got it.
"You want a guy that's a great leader? You got it. You want a guy that loves to work, loves to prepare, same guy every day? You got it. You want a boy that's humble? You got it. You want a guy that makes everybody else better, doesn't ask anything more from anybody that he's willing to give? You got it.
"You want a guy that's accurate? You got it. You want a guy that's got great pocket presence? You got it. You want a guy that's got toughness and ain't afraid to go get a first down? You got it. You want a guy that's going to give you every ounce of what he's got? You got it. So I don't know what you could want in a quarterback that he doesn't possess. That's the best way I can answer it."
According to tankathon.com, the Giants currently are in line for the No. 1 overall pick with the slightly stronger schedule (using all 16 opponents) than the Falcons (second) and Jets (third). The Los Angeles Chargers, Washington Football Team, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings and Houston Texans (but a pick owned by the Miami Dolphins) follow in order with 1-4 records.
Long believed to a lock as the top pick in 2021, Lawrence has come out strong during an undefeated start for No. 1 Clemson (4-0, 3-0 ACC) on the 2020 season. He has not thrown an interception in 355 passes dating back to last year, completing 29 of 41 (70.7 percent) for 292 yards and three touchdowns in this past Saturday's 42-17 win over then-No. 7 Miami (3-1, 2-1).
Lawrence has started his junior season in 2020 by going 84-for-116 (72.4-percent) passing with 1,140 yards and 10 touchdowns. A focal point in the Clemson offense since he was a freshman during the 2018 season, when the Tigers won a College Football Playoff national championship, Lawrence has only gotten better.
"You never have to worry about him," Swinney said this past Saturday. "He's just always going to put the work in. He's always going to be prepared. He's always going to lay it on the line. He's always going to give it everything he's got. He's going to play with attention to details. He's going to challenge everybody. And he's going to attack.
"You just can't ask for anything more from any player, or certainly a quarterback, than what we get from Trevor every day, every single day."
Garrett Stepien reports for www.clemson247.com, a website devoted to Clemson athletics and featuring premium content on recruiting and much more.
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