There’s no denying how good Lamar Jackson was as a college quarterback, so he’s not happy with talk of an NFL position switch.
As usual, the quarterback position will be the top source of pre-draft talk and speculation. Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore in 2016, then followed it up with comparable output as a junior this past season. So it was not a shock when Jackson followed through on speculation and officially declared for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Jackson’s perceived shortcomings as a passer and elite athleticism has invited talk he should switch positions at the next level. ESPN’s Bill Polian, a former general manager in the league, has gone so far as to say Jackson should play wide receiver due to his speed and running ability. A fairly slight build (211 pounds) also fuels the idea Jackson can’t play quarterback as a pro.
Clearly, and not surprisingly, Jackson has had enough of the talk he can’t play quarterback in the NFL.
It is annoying because quarterback is all I played all my life,” Jackson told Andrea Adelson of ESPN. “People look at my legs and they see I can make big plays, but they don’t really see my arm, and I make big plays with my arm. I scored more touchdowns with my arm than my legs so …
Jackson did account for more passing (69) than rushing (50) touchdowns over his three seasons at Louisville, which is expected for a quarterback who didn’t run an option offense in college. But he also improved his completion percentage each season, with a yards per attempt average of at least 8.5 in each of his final two seasons.
The right NFL coaching staff can surely continue to foster Jackson’s improvement as a passer, and find ways to use what he brings as a runner. Time will tell if that comes to fruition, but Jackson will be a quarterback until further notice.