Elusive, explosive, fast, quick, all fit the description of Lamar Jackson. There’s one catch: He’s a Quarterback! Over the past few months, we’ve seen the likes of Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen get consideration for a top-five selection in this month’s NFL Draft. Why hasn’t the 2016 Heisman trophy winner received the respect he’s earned?
In the 2017-2018 college season, Jackson threw for 27 touchdowns while only throwing 10 interceptions. In addition to his stellar touchdown-interception ratio, he finished with a 146.6 quarterback rating (QBR), which was substantially better than Allen’s while only trailing Rosen by .3 percent. With elite passing numbers, many would consider Jackson a lock for a top-ten draft selection, but that hasn’t been the case throughout the draft process
According to Peter Schrager of Good Morning Football, there were multiple teams that requested Jackson workout as a wide receiver. Along with the initial report, former Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian, advised him to make the move to wide receiver because he was “short”, “slight”, and “lacked accuracy.” Fortunately for Jackson, he is in fact 6’3 with a 211-pound frame which should fair well in the NFL. Oh, and he’s only 21 years of age!
The unfair criticism of Jackson isn’t a new occurrence. We’ve seen this story play out with a multitude of quarterbacks in the past. In the past two years, Houston is satisfied with quarterback Deshaun Watson and how about Dallas with Dak Prescott as the face of America’s team! This was all after they were overlooked because they didn’t fit the mold as a signal caller.
This year’s draft is absolutely loaded at quarterback and Jackson deserves to be considered as part of the elite prospects. On Thursday April 26th, expect his name to be called. Once he is drafted, the world will be on their toes to see if he can prove his doubters wrong.
Photo from Lamar Jackson’s Twitter account