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Trent Baalke: Trevor Lawrence is certainly trending toward being elite

Dan Patrick and Doug Pederson discuss the past of the Jaguars and where they are going with Trevor Lawrence after being the worst team in the NFL to secure a playoff win.

At one point in the 2022 season, the Jaguars were 2-1 with decisive victories over the Colts and Chargers.

Then they went on a five-game losing streak to fall to 2-6. But after losing to the Chiefs in Week 10, the club won seven of eight to win the AFC South and a postseason game over Los Angeles.

Entering the 2023 offseason, the future of the Jaguars looks as bright as it has in a long time — particularly with quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The 2021 No. 1 overall pick finished the regular season having completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,113 yards with 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions — good for a 95.2 passer rating.

On Tuesday, Jacksonville General Manager Trent Baalke was asked about Lawrence becoming one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks.

“Well, I think he’s certainly trending that way, and is there more? There’s a lot more,” Baalke said in his press conference. ‘I think Trevor would say the same thing. His upside, his ability to grow at the position from just a knowledge standpoint. You got to remember now, this is the third offense in three years that Trevor has played in, counting his senior year in college. You go from that to a new system in the NFL and then all the sudden, it’s a hit the reset button as we’ve got another offense. It’s his third offense in three years, and it takes a while to master that.

“I think you saw the development in him mentally as well as physically throughout the course of this season. I think it’s only going to trend upward from there.”

Baalke said Lawrence’s ability to be even-keel served him well in 2022, especially because the quarterback is similar to head coach Doug Pederson.

“That’s a marriage made in heaven there because they related to each other that way,” Baalke said."They’re both fearless, Trevor doesn’t fear anything. They’re very authentic, so when you have leaders at the quarterback position and at the head coach position that are like that, everybody else just kind of falls in line.”

The Jaguars have some improvements to make on both offense and defense in the coming offseason. But the team appears well positioned to compete not just in the division, but also in the conference in the coming years.