Lamar Jackson is electric. Lamar Jackson is sensational. Lamar Jackson is the quarterback selected with the 32nd pick in the 2018 National Football League draft.
LJ is not a wide receiver, kick returner, flanker, or gadget player. He is a quarterback who is confident in his own abilities and work ethic. As an African-American quarterback with dreams of playing professional football on Sundays, Jackson had to make a decision to be the best athlete that he could. The decision, coupled with hard work, has paid off and Lamar will be suiting up for the Baltimore Ravens this fall as the assumed backup to incumbent starter, Joe Flacco.
It would be foolish to assume that Jackson would not have a legitimate shot at unseating Flacco as the starter by the end of the 2018 season. While this writer believes that a year of seasoning and sitting would be the best situation for Lamar, let me be clear in stating that given Flacco’s recent injury history and so-so regular season production could open the door for Jackson to ease into a starting role.
A high level of football knowledge is not required to have an understanding for the apprehension displayed by the other teams who chose not to draft Jackson earlier in the first round. Lamar’s sub-par Wonderlic score raised concerns that he might not be able to adapt to the complexity of NFL playbooks. To combat those concerns, all you need to do is turn on the tape of the former Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Louisville and you’ll see a truly dynamic and gifted athlete. Like his rookie peers and dual-threat quarterbacks him, there will be growing pains. But it is my assertion that Jackson is more Deshaun Watson than Robert Griffin III.
I will happily eat my words if Lamar Jackson fizzles out in the NFL, but that’s a meal I won’t be preparing for anytime soon.