No, the New England Patriots will not draft Trevor Lawrence in April.
The Clemson quarterback and consensus top prospect to emerge from the college ranks this year is all but guaranteed to join the Jacksonville Jaguars as the number one overall selection come the draft. However, that does not mean the Patriots have no vested interest in still taking a close look at him during the pre-draft process.
They did so on Friday, by being one of 17 teams to visit Lawrence’s Pro Day and throwing session at the Clemson indoor facility in South Carolina. Two members of New England’s scouting department were present for the session, and they watched the 21-year-old go through numerous drills alongside two former NFL wide receivers — Charone Peake and Chris Finke — as well as Tigers teammate Cornell Powell.
The Patriots might be interested in Powell as a potential late-round acquisition in the draft, but they likely will also take a close look at Lawrence himself.
After all, he is arguably the most impressive quarterback to enter the draft in recent memory and as such a realistic candidate to lead the Jaguars offense for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, New England is currently scheduled to face off against him and his soon-to-be NFL team this year: the Patriots will host Jacksonville during the 2021 regular season, getting another first-hand look at Lawrence.
Keeping his file up to date is therefore not a bad move for the team, even if it has no shot at drafting Lawrence in two months.
Among the other teams present, two decided to send their head coaches: Jaguars coach Urban Meyer and Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith made the trip to Clemson. The Falcons also brought general manager Terry Fontenot along, making him one of two GMs visiting the session (the other being the New York Jets’ Joe Douglas). Four teams also sent assistant coaches to take a close look at Lawrence during his Pro Day.
The Patriots, meanwhile, did not send any member of their coaching staff or top-level executives. They are certainly in the market for a quarterback this offseason, but the other passers to enter the draft this year — including Alabama’s Mac Jones, who interviewed with the club at the Senior Bowl — are far more realistic targets than Lawrence.