ESPN analysts Dan Orlovsky, Keyshawn Johnson and Marcus Spears debated Thursday on NFL Live whether the Jacksonville Jaguars' hiring of former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer - which became official Thursday night - changes the likelihood that the team will select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft instead of Buckeyes QB Justin Fields.
Here's what they said about Lawrence vs. Fields, and how much roster control Meyer might have in Jacksonville:
Dan Orlovsky: (Fields) is an absolute superstar, like just because we all have linked Trevor Lawrence there ... now with Urban going there, does it become a conversation of who goes No. 1? Absolutely. Absolutely it does. Because he could love Justin Fields more than he loves Trevor Lawrence.
Keyshawn Johnson: I think it's everything is at play right now. ... It's hard for me to think that a coach that was at a university that recruited the quarterback - been knowing the kid for a long time - also put the head coach in place that's at Ohio State, that they're not having communications. ... It's hard for me to think that he's gonna pass on a guy like Fields for Trevor Lawrence. ... It's one of those deals where I look at coaches in the past that have gone from college to the pros, whether it's the first round or rounds in general. They like to have people that understand their program. Even though Fields didn't play for Urban, that program is still Urban. because they took a lot of the same principles and installed them and kept them in Ohio State's program. It'll be fun to watch and see come draft time, that's for dang sure.
Marcus Spears: What I think is we're not waiting to see a damn thing. Trevor Lawrence is going first to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and that's been the talk since last year. That's what's going to happen. We just watched the owner talk about how much he wants to be involved in the roster. Obviously, Urban Meyer and whatever staff he brings in and the general manager have decisions to make. But the first overall pick is going to be Trevor Lawrence. ... I like the fact that Urban Meyer has recruited Justin Fields ... out of high school, and all of that. But the bottom line is the quarterback from Clemson is going No. 1. ... We're not trading talent for talent, either. Trevor Lawrence has been the guy. He hasn't done anything to knock himself off that pedestal. Justin Fields obviously outplayed him when they played against Clemson. But when they send that card in, it'll be Trevor Lawrence's name on it.
Orlovsky: We didn't hear these Urban Meyer rumors to Jacksonville until they got to the No. 1 spot. When they were sitting at the No. 2 pick for most of the season, there wasn't this conversation. I agree wholeheartedly - this will be Trevor Lawrence at the No. 1 pick. And I think a reason why Urban is willing to take that job is because of this. We'll see how much roster control when it comes to recruiting he has down in Jacksonville.
Johnson: He's probably going to have all the control. ... He's a control guy. He doesn't want to take a job and have somebody tell him what to do. These coaches in this day and age that don't need jobs - they don't want to deal with that. Because he can go anywhere to do that. He wants control like he had at Florida, Utah, Ohio State. And it's different because you need somebody who understands the pro game and your pro scouting department.
Orlovsky: I think that's a massive mistake though - to bring in no NFL experience and go, 'Hey we're gonna give you roster control and be the head coach?' That's a recipe for failure.
Spears: The first part of that roster control is gonna be drafting Trevor Lawrence. It ain't about what I want. It's what's gonna happen.
Meyer announced his retirement after the Buckeyes' appearance in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019, citing health concerns and a difficult year that included his three-game suspension over his handling of domestic violence allegations against former OSU assistant coach Zach Smith.
Meyer's son, Nate, is a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bearcats who said last year that he wants to follow in his father's footsteps and be a coach.
Nate committed to the UC baseball team in 2017 and played parts of two seasons as an outfielder.
Urban Meyer walked onto the UC football team in 1984 after playing minor-league baseball for two years. The Atlanta Braves drafted him out of high school.
LOVE SPORTS? [ Subscribe now for unlimited access to Cincinnati.com ]