The Baltimore Ravens selected Lamar Jackson with the 32nd-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here’s all you need to know about Jackson.
Quick, fluid release and doesn’t need his feet set. Incredible with the ball in his hands as a runner. Can really spin it even with just the flick of his wrist. Willing and able to make off-platform throws. When he breaks the pocket, still keeps his eyes down field and can make throws on the run. His vision and explosiveness are among the best we’ve seen from a quarterback. Wiry and slippery in the pocket as defenders rarely get clear shots on him back there.
Shows the ability to reset and make throws. Really tough kid and will fight for extra yards, take on defenders, and fight through contact. Flashes the ability to make “wow” throws. Would have even better numbers (and they were already good) if his receivers didn’t drop so many catchable balls.
Spindly body and might not even have been the 205 he’s listed. Sloppy footwork and will try to backfoot throw without his feet set. Too often tries to make throws from a narrow base. Gets to the top of his drop and will just stop his feet then try to throw. You’d like to see him avoid shots and not fight for yards as a runner.
A lot of designed reads and he can make accurate throws on them, but how much is he really reading and reacting vs. just throw the designed read? Doesn’t get to second and third reads regularly and doesn’t have great mechanics doing it. Will panic in the pocket at times. Struggles with ball placement down the field on deep throws. Plays off balance at times. Lacks elite touch. Doesn’t have many drive throws on tape.
This might be my favorite pick of the draft. In his last go-around as a general manager Ozzie Newsome traded back into the first round and got his quarterback of the future. Jackson is going to be a star in Baltimore.