JACKSONVILLE – Bucky Brooks liked what he saw Friday. He wasn't alone.
Pretty much everyone watching Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence's Pro Day Friday liked it. And Brooks, who analyzed it live on NFL Network, agreed with Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer that the day said much about Lawrence off the field.
"Him showing up and wanting to throw for the scouts says a lot about who he is," Brooks said.
Lawrence, widely considered the top prospect in the April 2021 NFL Draft, moved the Pro Day up a month because he will soon undergo shoulder surgery on his left labrum. The move came after a discussion with Meyer, who said Friday the decision showed Lawrence's love for the game.
Many assume Lawrence will be the first player selected in the draft, an assumption unlikely to have changed had Lawrence opted to not throw. The Jaguars hold the No. 1 selection for the first time in franchise history.
"He's competitive," Brooks said of Lawrence. "The intangibles are right in terms of 'natural leader, understands what it means to be the face of the franchise.' He was that at Clemson."
Brooks, an analyst for NFL Media and Jaguars Media, focuses heavily on the draft in his role with the NFL – and is one of the media's more-respected draft analysts.
He said Lawrence is worthy of the No. 1 selection for multiple reasons, showing traits of a franchise quarterback throughout his career at Clemson – including last offseason when he was among college football's more vocal leaders in the discussion around social injustice and civil rights.
"He took the reins and kept that team together and spoke up for some of those who he felt had been marginalized," Brooks said. "You're getting the total package. He's an outstanding football player, but he is a guy who's mature and ready for all the responsibilities of being a No. 1 overall pick."
Brooks said Lawrence's performance Friday was as impressive on the field as off.
"He's as good as advertised," Brooks said. "I think he embraced being on the stage to show people why he is viewed as the No. 1 overall player in the draft."
Lawrence threw 52 passes during Friday's session, which was attended by Meyer, Jaguars passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Meyer watched from a few feet away while standing with and talking to Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
Brooks said Lawrence during the workout showed the physical traits most scouts expected to see.
"The arm talent is there," Brooks said. "People on the ground there talked about the big-time arm talent – and that he also knows when to dial it back. You heard, 'Catchable ball, friendly ball, easy for wide receivers to make plays …' When he can change pace and trajectory, it makes it really easy for the wide receiver to make plays."
Lawrence's Pro Day is expected to be his last workout before the draft. The NFL Scouting Combine, typically held in late February in Indianapolis, Ind., will not be held this year because of COVID-19 concerns. Teams also will not be able to hold private workouts at players' campuses or have players visit NFL facilities because of COVID-19, so Pro Day workouts are the only in-person, pre-draft look teams will have with most prospects this year.
"He can do things within the pocket, outside the pocket," Brooks said. "The big thing was Jacksonville got a front-row seat to see him throw. Now, you take all that information that you got off the tape, what you've seen in person, and then you begin to imagine how you can potentially build an offense around what he already has displayed and what he could be down the road."
Assistant head coach/inside linebackers Charlie Strong, who coached under Meyer at the University of Florida from 2005-2009: "I can remember we had a conversation this summer. We were just sitting around talking and I said, 'We have one more run in us. We have to make one more run.' He's like, 'Don't ask me to do that.' I said, 'I know you want to do it because it's still in you.' And I just think about the relationship that we've developed over the years and then the success that we had at the University of Florida. I know we have us a job here, but I'm really excited about the job here because I know that what he's done, the winning attitude that he has with every school that he's been to, that we can get that done here."