The Baltimore Ravens are scheduling a visit with former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson prior to the NFL Draft. Very interesting.
Joe Flacco hasn’t been good for years, but his gigantic contract has been holding back Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome from making a switch. Perhaps that is no longer a problem, with the Ravens reportedly set to meet with Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson only weeks before the 2018 NFL Draft.
Jackson has divided scouts, with some believing he would be better off switching from quarterback to receiver. Others think that Jackson could wind up being an early pick in the draft as a franchise-caliber player, going in either the late-first or early-second portion of the proceedings.
During his time with the Cardinals, Jackson was one of the most prolific players in the country. The Florida native won the Heisman Trophy in 2016 while leading Louisville into contention for the national title. There’s an easy argument to make that the school hadn’t seen that type of talent at quarterback since the days of Johnny Unitas, who so happened to make his legend in Baltimore.
While his completion percentage was under 60 percent throughout his college career (57.0), his accuracy improved every campaign. Last year, Jackson threw for 3,660 yards with 27 touchdowns against 10 interceptions, while hitting on 59.1 percent of his attempts. On the ground, Jackson was lethal with 4,132 yards and 50 scores over his three-year tenure.
Should the Ravens end up picking Jackson at some juncture, he could compete immediately with Flacco. Baltimore still owes the veteran $24.75 million this season and $26.5 million in 2019, although that year could be voided with Baltimore accepting a whopping $16 million in dead money.