PlayerProfiles: Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson is electric.

The Baltimore Ravens selected the dynamic dual-threat quarterback with the final first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and I think it’s safe to say they couldn’t be happier two seasons into his career.

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Jackson played his college ball at Louisville, leaving a legacy like no other. The 2016 Heisman trophy winner started all three seasons at his alma mater, putting up video game stats along with highlight-reel plays night in and night out. Excluding his freshman year, Jackson put up 7,203 passing yards, 3,172 rushing yards, 96 touchdowns, and carried Louisville to a 17-9 record through his final two seasons with the team.

Lamar Jackson is one of, if not the, most dynamic players I have ever watched in college football. He was must-see TV, the type of player that can turn nothing into something, and have the potential to score on any given play. He was a nightmare matchup who will put any given player on the wrong side of a viral highlight play.

Coming out of college, Lamar Jackson had many doubters. Some said he didn’t have the arm talent to make the necessary throws required in the NFL, while some even went as far as saying Jackson would be better off switching positions for a better NFL chance, such as wide receiver. These doubters were justified by the fact that Jackson completed his final season with a 59% completion percentage, coming in at 71st overall in college football that season, but Jackson possesses a quick release, along with arm strength that can sling it with big downfield play potential. Jackson could’ve switched to receiver, and even played it pretty damn well, but he bet on himself, even denying to run the 40-yard dash at the combine to make the statement he is indeed a quarterback, and the Raven’s took the chance.

Just as a side-note, Jackson denied to run the 40, but he claims he’d run a 4.34 if timed. That’d be one of the fastest in the league.

Lamar Jackson isn’t an elite thrower, but he is an elite athlete, and can extend and make plays with his legs like no other, providing the team that drafted him an opportunity to create a dynamic offense. The Ravens have done exactly that.

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Jackson got the starting nod at quarterback last season during week eleven, leading the Ravens to a 6-1 record in his time, along with a 17-23 loss to the Chargers in the AFC Wild Card game. He finished his first season with 1,201 passing yards, 695 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns along with only 3 interceptions in 7 games started. Heading into the offseason, the Ravens were committed to Jackson as the starter but knew he had to improve on his 58% completion percentage. The Ravens made some moves, bringing in safety Earl Thomas on defense, and running back Mark Ingram, rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown, and rookie tight end Mark Andrews on offense, while coach John Harbaugh seemingly improved his offensive playbook to cater towards Lamar Jackson’s abilities.

Season two has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Lamar Jackson, although still needing improvement, has elevated his passing ability to a respectable level while the Raven’s and coach Harbaugh have put Jackson in the perfect situation to prosper. Through week seven, Jackson has 1,650 passing yards, 576 rushing yards, and 14 touchdowns, while increasing his completion percentage to 63% and leading the Raven’s to a 5-2 record, putting himself in the MVP conversation in his first full season.

Lamar Jackson is electric. I personally believe he will become the best quarterback out of the loaded 2018 draft, and has the potential to change how NFL offenses work. He lights up scorecards and highlight tapes, he silences doubters, he works on his game, he isn’t afraid, and plays with heart. That, to me, is a recipe for success, and danger (in the good way). Jackson is ascending fast, and so far it not only looks like the Raven’s have their franchise quarterback, but that the rest of the NFL has a new problem.

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