Jokes on them. The Jacksonville Jaguars picked Lawrence up first, and look at how that has turned out s far. Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer was fired — or, more aptly, "kicked" out — on Thursday.
The 2-11 Jaguars rank last in the AFC South with an offense barely kept together by Lawrence, James Robinson, and Marvin Jones Jr.
At least Jets head coach Robert Saleh doesn't make a fool out of himself every week, and at least New York ha a promising rookie class featuring the likes of Alijah Vera-Tucker, Elijah Moore, and Michael Carter, among others.
The unequivocal hate and fury the Jets received from NFL analysts and ex-NFL players prior to the 2021 NFL Draft was staggering. Everyone, and we mean everyone was dissing the Jets franchise like it was the absolute worst possible place for a rookie quarterback.
Newsflash: Jacksonville isn't that great, either.
This was back when the Jets were projected to have the top overall pick and stood first in line to take quarterback sensation Trevor Lawrence.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith outright called the Jets a "moribund pathetic franchise" and told Lawrence he should return to college and wait another year, as Eli Manning did, instead of joining New York.
"You sit up there and say, 'Hell no, I'm not coming to the New York Jets, and if that is the specter of my future, I would rather stay right here in college and wait another year and risk the potential of injury before I go play for that moribund pathetic franchise."- Steven A. Smith on Trevor Lawrence
Others gave their very much unsolicited advice to Lawrence, too. ESPN's Mike Greenberg echoed Smith's sentiment, saying, "If I were Trevor Lawrence, and the Jets have the first pick in the draft, you would have to think long and hard about staying at Clemson.”
Five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White also told Lawrence to stay in school if the Jets had the No. 1 pick. "I don't want any part of that organization," White said of the Jets.
The NY Jets didn't deserve their staggering amount of Trevor Lawrence backlash prior to the 2021 NFL Draft
Those critics spouted a few kernels of truth in their brazen bashing of the Jets franchise.
New York had failed year after year to turn highly touted quarterback prospects into worthy franchise stars — Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, and most recently, Sam Darnold litter the trail of failed Jets quarterbacks who, for a host of reasons, couldn't find consistent success in the NFL.
Yet the same arguments that apply to the "pathetic" Jets franchise could be made about Jacksonville. And when the Jaguars got the first pick instead, and Lawrence went to join newly appointed coach Urban Meyer in Florida (oh, how the city of Jacksonville beamed of hope back then), no one peeped a word.
The general consensus declared that the Jacksonville Jaguars were a better destination for developing rookie talent than the New York Jets. Less than one year later, lips have been bitten and words have been nervously swallowed.
The dumpster fire that is the 2021 Jaguars team has reached its burning point with Urban Meyer's firing, and Trevor Lawrence hasn't looked the part of a future franchise quarterback at all with a league-high 14 interceptions in 13 games.
Many gasped in surprise when Lawrence flailed week after week in an offensive scheme that comprised of one good running back, an overpaid offensive line, and few productive pass-catchers.
Wilson has been struggling under center as well lately, but that's not the point. At least his team has attempted to provide him with a competent-enough supporting cast, especially given what Darnold had at his disposal last season.
The New York Jets are not the only pitiful franchise in the league, and the Jets franchise should not have been disrespected as much as it was prior to the 2021 NFL Draft.
No one's saying Lawrence would have performed better had he joined the Jets, but he's definitely not living up to expectations in Jacksonville.
Who would've thought.