Just as it seemed like round one would come to an end without one of the two Heisman Trophy winners finding a new home, the Baltimore Ravens swooped down and made a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles for the 32nd overall pick. With that pick, the Baltimore Ravens selected Lamar Jackson, quarterback out of Louisville. The only person happier than Jackson and his mother may have been former teammate Jaire Alexander, who jumped out of his seat mid-interview to celebrate the Jackson selection. Jaire had been selected not long before when the Green Bay Packers took him of the board with their 18th overall pick.
Like any other quarterback in this draft, Lamar has questions marks. Some legitimate questions, and some not so much. One “question mark” we heard repeatedly was Jackson’s decision to not hire an agent. Instead, Lamar chose to have his mother represent him. There are certainly a few aspects of the draft process that having an experienced agent could have been beneficial, but you aren’t going to convince Lamar that an agent for hire cares more about his wellbeing than his own mother. If the story books are true, legend has it that Lamar was once asked to return a punt at a Louisville practice. Lamar’s mother, Felicia Jones, wasted no time reminding the coaching staff that Lamar came to Louisville because he was promised he’d be a quarterback and a quarterback only. Jackson never did anything but quarterback ever again. If his mother never makes that call, does that one punt return transition in to him becoming a wide receiver? Jackson is surely talented enough to play wide receiver, but how many talented receivers win the Heisman? Three. In the entire history of the Heisman Trophy there have been three receivers to win it: Johnny Rodgers (1972), Tim Brown (1987), and Desmond Howard (1991). Don’t think for one second that Lamar doesn’t understand what that phone call may have done for his career.
One fair question mark was regarding his accuracy. A 57% career completion rate isn’t having anyone lineup for your services, but when we look at his 2017 adjusted completion percentage he trails only the other Heisman Trophy winner, and first overall pick Baker Mayfield. Throw in Jackson’s ability to extend drives with his legs when a pass play breaks down or in a designed run and suddenly teams are forced to change their game plan. Lamar is headed to a team with a starter already in place which will only help his career in the long run. He’ll be able to sit behind Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco allowing him to learn and evolve. Lamar has a bigger vision, though. “They’re going to get a Super Bowl out of me. Believe that.”, Jackson said. Only time will tell.
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