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Big Cat Country Q&A: How early does Trevor Lawrence start?

NCAA Football: Trevor Lawrence Pro Day Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

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Let’s answer some Jacksonville Jaguars questions just a few weeks out from the NFL free agency window opening!

Today we’re talking about the likelihood of this new regime making draft day trades, Alex Smith, and more.

Thomas from Gainesville, FL

Q: Do you see the new regime as more or less willing than the last to make trades during the draft?

A: I don’t know how the probability increases or decreases with Urban Meyer running the show. I think we’ll get a better idea when free agency rolls around. If they go hard after Orlando Brown in a trade, I think you can say he’ll swing for the fences if he really likes a guy. I’m going to say that in this first season, Meyer will want to keep all the draft picks he can and we’ll see the dice being rolled in future seasons once he has a solid base to plug in someone he identifies as a superstar.

Max from Bristol, UK

Q: Where would you rank C.J. Henderson and K’Lavon Chaisson in this year’s class, respectively?

A: K’Lavon Chaisson has a lot of work to do. I think a scheme shift is going to help him immensely, because he’s just not a 4-3 defensive end who should be putting his hand in the dirt. At that position, he’s a Day 3 guy. If this team switches to a 3-4, he’ll likely get better. As far as C.J. Henderson, a close comparable to him production-wise was Avonte Maddox or Rock Ya-Sin, according to Pro Football Reference. Henderson played like a fringe starter last season. But while Henderson flashed between bouts of inconsistency and unavailability, Chaisson played poorly. Neither would be drafted in the first round this year.

Travin from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Do you think Urban Meyer brings in Alex Smith given their connection from Utah?

A: Even without the connection to Utah, I’d bring in Alex Smith. He’d be a great veteran to have in the room with Trevor Lawrence and would help the rookie from Clemson acclimate well to the NFL. The only problem is... I don’t see Smith as wanting to play that role. I think Smith sees himself as an NFL starter and I think he’s right.

Michael from Leeds, UK

Q: Which is a greater need in free agency for Urban Meyer’s offense — tight end or wide receiver? Do you think we address both in free agency or the NFL Draft?

A: I think it’s tight end for the simple reason that’s our weakest position on offense. Urban will try to balance the offense as well he can, and that means upgrading at tight end. As far as where we get those upgrades, I think it happens in free agency and the NFL Draft. I’d be shocked if we didn’t sign a tight end in the first week of free agency and didn’t couple that with a tight end in the third round, at the latest.

Jason from Jacksonville, FL

Q: How is dead money counted or subtracted from a team?

A: It counts against their salary cap figure, same as if it were attributed to a player currently on the roster.

Ryan from St. Augustine, FL

Q: What week does Trevor Lawrence start? Who would be the starter Week 1?

A: If he’s not the starter Week 1, something has gone horribly wrong. This team isn’t going to compete next season, and I think Urban Meyer sees his rookie season as an opportunity to develop his franchise quarterback.

Jim from Kingsland, GA

Q: What’s with these former quarterbacks saying that Trevor Lawrence is not the best one in the draft? In fact, why do they feel compelled to even comment?

A: They’re doing it to generate reads and clicks. Trevor Lawrence is absolutely the best quarterback in the NFL Draft. But how do you fill three months of air by saying the same thing over and over? The truth is boring sometimes.