Dabo Swinney: I’d be ‘surprised’ if Trevor Lawrence didn’t enter NFL Draft

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Dabo Swinney added a new — and favorable — wrinkle to the Trevor Lawrence-Jets saga.

The Clemson coach provided some hope that his quarterback, the Heisman Trophy-candidate and projected No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, will not spurn the Jets and go back to school for his senior season.

“I mean, we’ll certainly let him stay if that’s what he wants to do,” Swinney said on SiriusXM radio on Thursday. “But I’d be surprised if he’s back with the Tigers next year, but who knows? You never know. I didn’t think [defensive lineman] Christian Wilkins was coming back [in 2018], but he did.”

Lawrence hinted this week that this season may not be his last with the Tigers. He had previously made it seem this would be it for him.

“Kind of my mindset has been that I am going to move on,” Lawrence told reporters on Tuesday over Zoom. “But who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen.’’

The 0-7 Jets currently hold the No. 1 pick and their schedule only gets harder from here, starting with the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on the road this week. The mess the franchise is dealing with in terms of a dearth of top-tier talent and its poor history of developing quarterbacks could deter the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Lawrence from entering the draft. If the Jets do take Lawrence, they would be giving up on quarterback Sam Darnold, who was selected No. 3 overall in 2018.

Last week former Falcons receiver Roddy White said Lawrence should stay in school if the Jets end up with the top pick. This would not be the first time a quarterback who is considered “can’t miss” avoided potentially being drafted by Gang Green. Peyton Manning returned to school for his senior year after the Jets had finished 1-15 in 1996.

Lawrence has completed 70.7 percent of his passes this season for 1,833 yards, 17 touchdowns and two interceptions over five games.

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