5 Reasons Lamar Jackson is the Bills’ Target in the Draft

03/18/2018
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The Buffalo Bills are determined to select the right QB prospect in this year’s NFL Draft to lead the team back to a Super Bowl appearance and become their first franchise QB since Jim Kelly. GM Brandon Beane and HC Sean McDermott are determined to assure they will be able to pick “their guy” to man this mission and another trade up, this time to the top 5, can be seen on the horizon. But who is the guy they’re targeting? I think it’s the electrifying Louisville product, and here are five reasons why:

The Face of “The Process”

As Erik Turner (@cover_1_) detailed in his Lamar Jackson scouting report, the former Cardinal is an impeccable prospect character-wise, thanks to dedication from his mom to keep him on the track of success. He was always the most athletically gifted guy on the field, but his discipline and commitment to always work hard on his craft was what made him evolve as a passer, year after year. Despite being only 21 years old, Jackson showed maturity in his combine interviews and made a statement when he chose to only throw at the event and not run the 40 yard dash. He’s a QB and will prove himself at the next level, just like he always did in his life. Looks like a “process” guy to me.

 

He fits what this front office really values at the QB position

Donovan McNabb; Michael Vick; Cam Newton. What do those guys have in common? They were the QBs McDermott had during his NFL career prior to the Buffalo Bills. Cam was hand-picked by the Panthers to be their franchise QB, with Beane having some say in that selection. But other than that, they were able to led their teams to the big stage (McNabb and Newton to SB appearances, Vick to a pair of NFC championship games). Also, all of them were considered generational talents at some point in their college careers, and Jackson shares this recognition. The former Heisman winner is the most electrifying QB to come out of college since Michael Vick himself.

 

His combination of elite athleticism with a powerful arm and lightning quick release make the comparison obvious. Vick was a QB that changed the game and made everyone think what could have been if he had a better head over his shoulders back in the day. Jackson can be the answer to this previously hypothetical question. This is the type of QB Beane and McDermott are looking for, a guy around whom who you can build your offense and be successful. Jackson fits the bill; the sky is the limit for this kid.

 

Bobby Petrino’s and Brian Daboll’s effect

Looking at Jackson’s film, it’s easy to say his college game doesn’t translate well to the NFL. But when you look closer, that’s far from the reality. Jackson worked under former NFL head coach and QB guru Bobby Petrino at Louisville and was asked to make a lot of NFL reads playing in his pro-style offense.

Five receivers into a route, reads the defense and hits his WR

 

Obviously, Petrino adjusted the offense to take advantage of all of Jackson’s strengths. Now enter Brian Daboll. The former Alabama Crimson Tide OC is the perfect man to build an offense around Jackson’s skill-set. Daboll’s offense is run-oriented, just like Carolina’s offense with Newton at the helm when Beane and McDermott were there. At Alabama, Daboll had success with dual-threat Jalen Hurts as his starting QB, and we can assume Jackson would elevate that offense to a whole new level. Having LeSean McCoy as the centerpiece of the offense with Jackson as the QB could make the Bills the most dangerous rushing offense in the league.

 

He’s a day one starter and a dangerous one

A lot of people believe Jackson will need to sit and learn from a veteran until he refines his passing skill to become a more efficient NFL passer. I disagree, and in fact, I believe he can be an efficient and dangerous starting quarterback from day one. With Brian Daboll’s help, Jackson can be a nightmare for opposing defenses early in his career. Just like Deshaun Watson, another guy who was supposed to need to learn from the bench, Jackson can surprise a lot of people early, with everything he brings to the table as the dynamic weapon he already is. He’s far from a finished product, but he’s already a guy whom opposing DCs will need to give special attention.

 

Smokescreen

Here’s where I think Beane and the Bills organization are working hard to not let anyone know their true intentions. We already heard rumors about the Bills loving Josh Allen, how Darnold looks like a true McDermott guy, and even how Beane may be able to use his Dave Gettleman relationship to work on a trade with the Giants and grab Josh Rosen at #2 overall. But we’ve heard very little about a Bills-Jackson connection. Even those absurd Bill Polian Jackson-to-wide-receiver comments could be part of a huge smokescreen plan coming from One Bills Drive, given the obvious Polian-Pegula connection. What people are missing is that the move from 22 to 12 already put the Bills in striking position, and surely Beane will keep looking for a move up to assure his guy is there when the Bills are on the clock. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills select Jackson in the top 5; remember, Michael Vick was a no brainer #1 overall pick in 2001, and this kid has the very same potential. I think the Bills have taken notice.

 

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