JACKSONVILLE – Friday matters to Darrell Bevell.
It matters because Trevor Lawrence will throw at Clemson University Friday. And because that matters very much, Bevell – the Jaguars' new offensive coordinator – will be there Friday when one of the better quarterback prospects in recent memory participates in his Pro Day.
Head Coach Urban Meyer will be there, too.
So will passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.'
"I'm excited to watch him throw in person," Bevell said Thursday.
Bevell, who on Thursday was announced as the Jaguars' offensive coordinator along with the rest of Meyer's 2021 staff, discussed multiple topics Thursday during his first meeting with local media.
But with the Jaguars holding the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft – and with most analysts speculating that the Jaguars will select Lawrence with that selection – Friday's workout in Clemson expectedly was the overwhelming topic of choice.
"For me it's just important to see the ball come out of his hand," Bevell said of his expectations for the session. "I think one of the hardest things to do on tape is to be able to tell velocity and just the way it comes out of his hand. I also want to see the command that he's going to have.
"[It's] kind of our first opportunity to be able to get him in person, so [I'm] excited to do that. We won't be able to meet and talk to him like we normally would before or after, so it's just going to be the workout itself."
Bevell made clear a decision about the No. 1 selection was far from made.
"Just scratching the surface on it," he said. "We've begun to look at a few of them. I've seen a little bit of tape on Trevor [Lawrence]. I've seen a little bit of tape on [Ohio State quarterback] Justin Fields. So, we'll continue to do that. That's going to be a long process, ongoing process as we work this thing."
This is the first time in franchise history the Jaguars have held the No. 1 overall selection. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan shortly after the regular season discussed the importance of getting the quarterback position right, something Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke also discussed upon their hirings.
The process of getting it right will occur in unusual circumstances. With COVID-19 eliminating the NFL Scouting Combine later this month, and eliminating in-person visits, workouts such as Lawrence's Friday are the only time teams will scout players in person before the draft in late April.
"It's going to be different," Bevell said. "Obviously, we're going to have to do a great job. I think the most important things with the combine is the background and those kinds of things. There will still be a pro day that we'll be able to get to and we'll be there to watch all those guys throw in person, because I think that's really important to see the ball come out of their hands.
"But we'll have to use all the other stuff at our disposal. We'll be able to use the Zoom calls, obviously we'll be on phone calls as well, and everything that we have because this is going to be a huge undertaking for us, a very important pick and we have to make a great decision."
Bevell on Jaguars running back James Robinson, who rushed for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie this past season: "The running back position is huge. I like his skill set. I like the way he cut the ball. He's got really good vision. He's got great contact balance. He can make guys miss at the second level. He can make guys miss and get what we need to. Obviously, he'll continue to work on speed and those kinds of things, but [I] really like what he's done and [I] look forward to working with him."
Assistant Head Coach/inside linebackers Charlie Strong on weak-side linebacker Myles Jack and middle linebacker Joe Schobert: "I've seen plenty of tape on both of them. I look at Myles Jack, he's a guy that's very fluid. A guy that can get downhill, very athletic and a guy who's really good at open space. You're looking at two 'backers that are kind of in the prime of their career because the length of time that they have been in the NFL, but guys that can make plays and guys that will become the staple of our defense. If you're not good at linebacker, then you really don't have much of a chance to play really good defense. [I'm] really, really looking forward to coaching both of them because they want to learn. You can tell they're learners, they want to learn, and they want to get better."