NFL Draft Prospect Breakdown: Lamar Jackson

Other Breakdowns

Quenton Nelson – 93/100
Saquon Barkley
 – 92/100
Tremaine Edmunds – 89/100
Bradley Chubb – 89/100
Derwin James – 88/100
Roquan Smith – 87/100
Minkah Fitzpatrick – 87/100
Harold Landry – 85/100
Rashaan Evans – 84/100
Will Hernandez – 84/100
Baker Mayfield – 84/100
Sam Darnold – 83/100
Josh Rosen – 83/100
Marcus Davenport – 82/100
Calvin Ridley – 81/100
Josh Allen – 77/100
Leighton Vander Esch – 77/100

Stats, Awards, and Accolades

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*All Stats via sports-reference.com*

Class: Junior
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 216 lbs
Awards and Accolades: Heisman Trophy (2016), Maxwell Award (2016), AP Player of the Year (2016), 2x ACC Player of the Year and ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2016 & 2017), Unanimous All-American (2016), 2x First-team All-ACC (2016 & 2017)

Lamar Jackson is still getting better. Throughout his three years at Louisville, he increased his passing yards and rushing yards each year, and while he gets a reputation as a scrambling quarterback, I do think that a lot of that is unfair. Yes, Jackson led the ACC in rushing yards in 2017, but he also led the conference in passing yards. His career yards per play mark of 7.6 ranks third in the history of the ACC, and his 131,175 total yards ranks 2nd.

For this game is rewatched three conference games from this year: North Carolina, NC State, and Florida State. These defenses ranked 92nd, 62nd, and 33rd in Bill Connely’s defensive unit rankings for 2017. The NC State game was a Thursday Night Primetime game between two ranked teams, the Carolina game was from back in the early stages of the season, and the Florida State game was from the back half of the year.

Pros

Incredible athlete
Dangerous feet
An accurate passer with a clean pocket
Unbelievable speed
Avoids pressure
Plenty of arm strength
Poised
Steps up in the pocket
Keeps his eyes downfield
Elusive
Great stumble recovery
Hard to tackle
Good vision

Cons

Accurate at times, but inconsistent at others
Thin frame
Narrow base when he throws
Needs to be more consistent with his mechanics
Can sometimes struggle to throw under pressure
Wonderlic score very low

Grades

Short/Intermediate Accuracy – 7.5/10
Field Vision – 8/10

Footwork – 5/10
Decision-Making – 8/10
Under Pressure – 8/10
Deep Accuracy – 8.5/10
Arm Strength – 9/10
Mobility – 10/10

Scheme Fits

West Coast – 7.5/10
Vertical – 9.5/10
Spread – 10/10

Overall Grade: 82/100

reminder, this where I think he should go, not where he will go, these rankings also DO NOT take into account positional importance

90+ Superstar
85+ Elite Player (Top Ten)
80+ First Round Talent
77+ Second Round Talent
74+ Third Round Talent
66+ Third Day Talent (Rounds 4-7)

10/10 Rating – Best in the class or close to it
7.5/10 Rating – Average
5/10 Rating – Poor

Lamar Jackson is one of the most annoying prospects to grade in this class. There are times when he is deadly accurate 40 yards down the field, and there are times where he will miss his receiver on a screen pass. Jackson’s footwork is the main culprit there. The Louisville QB often stands with a narrow base, almost shoulder with the part, and he doesn’t always step into his throws. Those are things that can be fixed though, and when Jackson gets his footwork correct, he can make highlight throws. Obviously, you can’t mention Jackson without talking about his generational speed from the quarterback position, he occasionally scrambles to pick up extra yards and is beyond dangerous with designed quarterback runs. Jackson runs close to a 4.5 40-yard dash at over 200 pounds, something rarely, if ever seen for quarterback prospects in the NFL Draft.

I feel I’m probably higher on Jackson than most, I see him as an electrifying talent in the run game, and his issues with mechanics are coachable. If he can get his footwork down, he has the arm strength to be one of the more accurate quarterbacks in this class. I would say he would be a good candidate for a late first-round selection, but given the need for quarterbacks from teams up and down this draft, I would expect him to go much higher than that.

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