Lamar Jackson is being marginalized

Lamar Jackson is being marginalized
May 03
04:00 2018

By the time this article is published, the NFL draft would have come and gone.  I wanted to write this prior to the draft in anticipation that my prediction will come true.  We all know that quarterback is arguably the most important position in sports and one of the best in the draft is not being celebrated but instead being marginalized.

Lamar Jackson was the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner and is coming into the draft by all accounts as the fifth best quarterback available.  This has to be the most laughable draft position I have seen in many years.

I know many league executives are in love with the big four of Sam Darnold of USC, Josh Allen of Wyoming, Josh Rosen of UCLA and even Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, but I don’t feel any of those players have a better total skill set than Jackson because he brings something the other four can’t and that’s speed.

Michael Vick is the only player that anyone can honestly compare to what Jackson brings to the league.  He is definitely a better passer than Vick was at this stage in his career.  The knock on Jackson has been his passing accuracy, which is a total joke. 

Granted his completion percentage has been 56.2 and 59.1 percent but let’s remember Jackson ran the most pro style offense of the top five quarterbacks and was not assisted by a lot of easy throws like bubble screens and quick outs like the others.

One has to wonder why Vick, who was the Number One overall selection in 2001, was so highly sought after but Jackson, who brings the same explosiveness, is seen as a late first or early second round pick.

The 2001 draft class was not the best draft for quarterbacks, making Vick that much more attractive.  The only other quarterback worth noting was Drew Brees, who was taken with the first pick in the second round and has developed into a Super Bowl winning first ballot Hall of Famer.

I’m not sure any of the quarterbacks rated above Jackson will end up being Brees, but I am sure that Jackson will be a dynamic player at the quarterback position.  His pundits will also say that he runs too much along with being too slender, similar to former Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

I understand the fear of injury for Jackson because the defensive players in the NFL are bigger, stronger and faster than college, but he’s not RGIII.  Griffin had straight line speed but Jackson has great stop-on-the-dime quickness, great lateral movement and world class speed.

For me there are too many question marks surrounding Darnold, Mayfield, Allen and Rosen to take them with the Number One overall pick or even over Jackson for that matter. 

Darnold is too erratic, Mayfield is short with a volatile personality, Allen did not play against top competition and football may not be Rosen’s top priority.  If I were a general manager, I would take Jackson.

I found it very insulting when people were suggesting that Jackson make a position change to wide receiver.  I don’t want to throw the race card out there, but I will just say the whole notion of him changing positions is ludicrous.

I see NFL front office staffs have not learned from the mistakes they made just one year ago.  Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was the third quarterback taken in the first round but what he showed on the field definitely warranted him being drafted higher.

At first glance it may look like Jackson being drafted low in the first round or early second is a bad thing but it may not.  With the better teams in the league drafting low in the first round, he may have the opportunity to get drafted by a quality team with a quality coaching staff.  I wish the best for all parties involved but my money is on Jackson to be the best of the bunch.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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