One of my favorite NFL Draft studies from the 2018 class was QB Lamar Jackson. He was a prospect that big media was not too fond of, but when I watched his film I saw traits that translated to the NFL. For a thorough rundown on what I thought were his strengths and weaknesses, check out my scouting report.
[contentcards url=”https://www.cover1.net//scouting-report-qb-lamar-jackson-louisville/” target=”_blank”]
At times, his style of play is erratic and unconventional, like a good blues musician spilling his guts on stage. But he stays true to his roots, and Jackson’s roots are as a quarterback, not a rusher.
“The young man can throw the football, and he can develop into a pocket passer in this league. He has that type of skillset and that type of versatility.” Chargers HC Anthony Lynn
Sure, Jackson has rushed for 425 yards in his first five starts, which is the most for any QB in his first five starts, so it’s easy to simply say he is a ‘rushing QB.’ But when I turned on his film from his starts, some of the very same traits I loved were on full display for Ravens fans.
Jackson’s composure and pocket presence immediately stood out to me, which was also the case in his college film. His ability to manipulate the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield has translated nicely to the NFL. When pressure crosses his face, he doesn’t immediately look for an escape route. He simply slides, resets his base, and finds his next target in the progression.
During the pre-draft process, analysts tore Jackson down for his thin frame and wiry legs, but that leanness in his frame and flexibility allows him to do some special things from the pocket, including throwing off-platform. When offensive linemen are pushed into his lap, he is able to contort his body, drop his release point, and flick his wrist in a manner that would make Dennis Eckersley proud.
Jackson’s talent has helped him lead his team to a 4-1 record since entering the starting lineup, so let’s take a look at a few of the more impressive plays he’s given us. I have a feeling we are going to see more and more of these over the course of his career.
*Trouble viewing? Open in YouTube.*