Looks like I was wrong

Looks like I was wrong
December 05
04:11 2019

Before the 2018 draft, looking at the quarterback prospects, I must admit that I did not have Lamar Jackson as one of the top quarterback prospects. After a year and a half to evaluate, it not only looks like I was totally incorrect, but he looks like the best quarterback and maybe even the best player in last year’s draft.

Baker Mayfield (1), Sam Darnold (3), Josh Allen (7) and Josh Rosen (10), were all drafted in front of Jackson in 2018. Some even wanted the MVP frontrunner to try out as a wide receiver instead of a quarterback to find a role in the league.

To be honest, I was one of the people that questioned whether or not he would fare better at another position other than quarterback. I questioned his accuracy, ability to read a complex NFL defense, and if his body could withstand the pounding of NFL defenses every week, being that he is a quarterback that can run.

I see now that all it took was to let the young man acclimate himself to the game and the right franchise to cater their playbook to his skillset to maximize his talent. The Ravens have done just that.

With all the accolades Jackson accumulated in college while playing at Louisville, I should have known better. He was a two-time ACC Offensive Player of the year (2016, 2017), Heisman Trophy (2016), Associated Press Player of the Year (2016), Unanimous All-American (2016), and a host of others.  

I think my reservations came from the up and down results that running quarterbacks who came before him put forth. Robert Griffin III, Michael Vick, Vince Young, Cam Newton, Randall Cunningham, Steve McNair and Russell Wilson all came to mind as I was evaluating Jackson. The only quarterback on that list that has a Super Bowl ring is Wilson. The others had mixed success, but also suffered numerous injuries throughout their careers.

Wilson, unlike the other quarterbacks I listed, seemed to have the perfect combination of running and elusiveness to extend the play to find open receivers down the field. As he has matured in the league, he has become one of the best quarterbacks in the league and looks to be well on his way to Canton, Ohio. He also had a great defense to begin his career, so he did not have to carry a franchise from his first start.

The same can be said for Jackson. He doesn’t have a defense as good as Seattle did during Wilson’s early days, but they have thrown out conventional wisdom and totally revamped their playbook to fit Jackson’s style. The way they use the running game to set up the pass allows Jackson to do what he does best.  

A lot of people like to compare Jackson to Vick. I can see the resemblance in their games, but the way the Ravens tailored their playbook to Jackson, instead of trying to make him into a prototypical pocket passer, has led to his early success. Also, Vick admittedly did not study the game as much as he should have, but Jackson does, so that is another feather in his cap.  

Jackson has started 18 games for the Ravens over the past two seasons. In that time, he has thrown for 30 touchdowns against only 8 interceptions, along with rushing for 11 more scores. 

There are other quarterbacks that use their legs that are thriving in the league right now. Wilson, Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes II, Allen and Kyler Murray all have excellent mobility in and out of the pocket, but none of them can do what Jackson can in the open field.

I am surprised that I was so off-base with Jackson. I haven’t been this off-base with a quarterback prospect since Jameis Winston.  

The best thing about Jackson is that I don’t think he has even scratched the surface of his full potential. He seems to be a true student of the game and his position, so he is likely to get even better, which should be scary for the rest of the league. 

I will just sit back and watch the show.

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors