Lamar Jackson is single handily rewriting the quarterback description week by week. The second year quarterback is likely to win this year’s coveted NFL Most Valuable Player award. Considering the chatter that came from NFL executives at the time the young man was drafted, to be heavily favorite for this exclusive award, is a feat within itself.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, many draft experts like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay penciled the young phenom to switch position (i.e. wide receiver) before entering the draft. Known for elusiveness and world class speed in college, Jackson torched defenses with his superb athletecism while at Louisville. He won the Heisman trophy in his last year with over 3,000 yards passing and 27 touchdown passes. He also added over 1,600 yards rushing with 18 rushing touchdowns. Those are certainly eye popping statistics for any college football player. Those types of numbers would have garnered a lottery draft pick selection in the NFL Draft. Jackson was ulfimately drafted 32 overall and passed by every team including his current team, the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens actually traded back into the first round and drafted the star quarterback. Again, many draft analysts project him to be a wide receiver which was one of the main reason he did not run the 40 yard dash. His decision paid off and he was drafted at his desired NFL position; quarterback.
Lamar started his rookie season as a backup quarterback to former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco. During the season, Flacco regression was epic and Jackson was put into the starting line up. A star was born. The offense was retool to fit Jackson strength and mobility. Jackson led the team to the NFL playoffs were he was beating by Los Angeles Chargers. After the loss, Jackson vowed to improve on his passing skills and take the next step in his playmaking abilities. So, he did.
This year, Jackson has been on a tear. He has over 3,000 yards passing with 36 touchdowns. He also broke the single season record for quarterback rushing with over 1,200 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns. Ironically, those numbers are similar to the numbers that award him the Heisman trophy. It’s those numbers that will win him his first NFL MVP. It’s those numbers that has his Baltimore Ravens as the number 1 seed (14-2) in this year’s NFL Playoffs. It’s those number that will probably be the reason why he brings another Vince Lombardi trophy to the city of Baltimore. That’s not bad for a running back. #ActionJackson.
Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez