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Three-Point Stance: Trevor Lawrence, transfer WRs, ACC breakouts

Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with his thoughts on why Trevor Lawrence won’t be an NFL bust, a ranking of the top 10 wide receiver transfers and a look at five ACC players set to break out.


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Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence (Getty Images)

Trevor Lawrence is widely expected to be selected No. 1 overall by Jacksonville in the NFL Draft on April 29. While many feel he will have a great professional career, I keep hearing from some corners that he will be a bust. I think there is zero chance that Lawrence will bust out, and here's why:

Character and Leadership — I might as well start here before we get to the physical attributes. Lawrence lead his team to two state titles in high school, a national championship as a freshman in college and to the College Football Playoff two more times. He’s a winner and it’s very hard to hear a bad word spoken about him from either teammates or opponents. He plays the game right, has respect for everyone and earns respect immediately. That bodes well for his NFL future.

Arm Strength — This is an area where he has zero issues. There are prospects with stronger arms in this draft and in the NFL but there isn’t a throw he can’t make from the pocket or on the run.

Mobility — Lawrence could have easily been a dual-threat quarterback out of high school and has always been able to run. His 67-yard run against Ohio State in the playoff in the 2019 season is a great example of how well he can move and outpace even defensive backs at times. He ran for 18 touchdowns in his Clemson career and nearly 1,000 yards. He won’t be running a ton in the NFL by design but he can extend the play and hurt you similar to Josh Allen. He’s also sneaky strong and not easy to bring down.

Field Vision — Lawrence sees the field and has arguably the best field vision I’ve seen out of high school or college. When you watch the film, it's rare to see him missing a wide-open read and he goes through his progressions quickly. This means he processes information very fast under duress and that’s a key to NFL success.

Accuracy — The most important thing for any quarterback in my opinion is throwing an accurate and capable ball. Lead the receiver when open, throw him open when needed and master the back shoulder, 50-50 ball to the extent your receiver will either make the catch or it’s incomplete. He doesn’t throw the ball up for grabs and hits guys in stride even on the run. That’s another key to being a star.

Toughness — Remember when Shaun Wade lowered his head and hammered Lawrence in that same playoff game in the 2019 season? That was helmet to helmet direct contact and Chase Young yanked Lawrence to the ground by his neck right after he absorbed that hit. Lawrence was on the turf for a bit, jogged off, got ticked off and inspired and led his team back from a 16-0 deficit. Lawrence can absorb hits and take a beating and he’s been very durable.

NFL Throws — Let’s forget about the Pro Days where off balance, across the body downfield throws are all the rage. Those are interceptions unless you’re the next Patrick Mahomes. Let’s talk about dimes between the corner and safety in the back of the end zone while on the run. Some of the throws I’ve seen Lawrence make are NFL superstar quality.

Making Others Better — I’m not comparing Lawrence to Tom Brady or Peyton Manning (okay maybe Manning) but the great ones make players around them better. Cornell Powell and Amari Rodgers are great examples of this. Justyn Ross was lost for this past season and Rodgers went from 30 catches to 77 and Powell from 15 to 53. These are talented guys for sure but Lawrence has the ability to make everyone around him a star and that’s a rare quality.




Charleston Rambo
Charleston Rambo (Getty Images)

I’ll continue my roll through the transfer portal with my top 10 wide receivers. There are some players here who will have a massive impact.

1. Charleston Rambo, Miami — Rambo showed signs of his ability at Oklahoma with 76 catches for over 1,000 yards primarily in the last two seasons. But look for him to take a huge leap at Miami and be WR1 for the Hurricanes.

2. Mookie Cooper, Missouri — Cooper left Ohio State because there were too many talented receivers. That’s not the case back home at Mizzou and his catch-and-run ability will be coveted by Connor Bazelak.

3. Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky — Robinson has dynamic ability and was compared to Rondale Moore out of high school. He was never fully utilized at Nebraska but Kentucky won’t make the same mistake and he will impact on special teams as well.

4. Tajh Washington, USC — Washington was extremely productive at Memphis and is hard to guard in the slot. That’s exactly where Clay Helton and company will try to create mismatches.

5. D.J. Matthews, Indiana — Talent was never an issue for Matthews as he was dynamic in space and after the catch. His attitude was his hindrance at Florida State but so far at Indiana he’s been impressive and he gives the Hoosiers a slot option to take the attention off of Ty Fryfogle a bit.

6. Giles Jackson, Washington — Jackson is a strongly built receiver with excellent speed who will impact the return game and be a danger after the catch. Michigan never utilized him as a downfield threat and he can do that as well.

7. Puka Nacua, BYU — He didn’t do a ton at Washington but his long ball ability is there and will be utilized by BYU.

8. Bryan Thompson, Arizona State — Thompson never lived up to his billing at Utah but his average yard per catch was amazing and, with Jayden Daniels, he could do some serious downfield work.

9. Jahcour Pearson, Ole Miss — In 2019 he caught 76 catches for nearly 1,000 yards at Western Kentucky and he could be the perfect replacement for Elijah Moore at Ole Miss with their physical similarities.

10. Ahmarean Brown, South Carolina — He showed good signs at Georgia Tech especially as a freshman and his speed and ability from the slot will aid the Gamecocks' offense early.



Davis Allen
Davis Allen (Getty Images)

Today I continue my series of breakout players in each conference. Here are five ACC standouts that I will be keeping an eye on.

1. TE Davis Allen, Clemson — Allen had four touchdown catches on 16 receptions last season and will be a bigger part of the offense this year with a new quarterback in D.J. Uiagalelei.

2. WR Josh Downs, North Carolina — With Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome gone, look for Downs to put up exceptional numbers with Sam Howell.

3. RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Georgia Tech — Gibbs had nearly 500 yards last season as a true freshman and has that breakaway speed to reach 1,000 this year.

4. DL Calijah Kancey, Pitt — Kancey plays with natural leverage and showed as a freshman he can make plays in the backfield with seven tackles for a loss.

5. RB Jaylan Knighton, Miami — I envision him really breaking out in the passing game after just 11 receptions last year. He should be a big target this season.