Lamar Jackson, the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Louisville, threw his first pro touchdown pass Thursday in the Hall of Fame Game against Chicago.
Lamar Jackson is off to a good start in proving he is an NFL-ready quarterback.
Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens’ 32nd overall pick in April’s NFL Draft, threw the first touchdown pass of his pro career Thursday in the Ravens’ Hall of Fame Game matchup with the Chicago Bears.
Jackson saw his first game action to start the third quarter, completing 2/3 passes for 22 yards. He also showed off his running ability, rushing for 15 yards on three carries. His touchdown came at the 9:09 mark of the quarter, an eight-yard pass to the Ravens’ other first round pick, tight end Hayden Hurst.
The Ravens lead the Bears 17-10 in the fourth quarter.
The Ravens drafted the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner out of Louisville despite already having a former Super Bowl MVP at quarterback. Joe Flacco remains the team’s starter, but head coach John Harbaugh says having some competition in training camp will only help both players.
“I never felt like I had to talk with Joe about it. I mean, Joe gets it, he’s a smart guy,” Harbaugh said on the NFL Network earlier this week. “But I did talk to him about it. We talked the night of the draft…I told him, you’re the quarterback. You’re our quarterback. Let’s go win.”
“This is a football player that’s going to make us better, and it’s good to have competition,” Harbaugh said.
Flacco did not play in the Hall of Fame Game.
While Jackson started the second half, it was another former Heisman winner to get the start for the Ravens in the preseason opener.
Robert Griffin III, who is competing to be the Ravens’ third-string quarterback, went 7-of-11 with a touchdown and interception. Griffin was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 but has seen his career derailed by injuries and poor play in recent years. He did not play in the NFL last year.
The Hall of Fame Game is held the week of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, and marks the start of the preseason schedule. The NFL regular season begins on Sept. 6.