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Five quarterbacks were taken in the first round of the NFL draft of 2018 – the first time it happened since 1999. The last choice of those five may be the most interesting and, over time, could provide the best performance.
The Baltimore Ravens had already traded their first original selection (No. 16 overall), grappling with the Bills for the 22nd pick, and then exchanged again with the Tennessee Titans to go down again to the 25th pick. There, they selected South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst, filling an obvious need for an offense that had a lower performance in 2017.
Then, in a surprising move, Baltimore switched from their 52nd pick in the second round to the 32nd election property of the Philadelphia Eagles. And with that choice, general manager Ozzie Newsome, in his senior year with Louisville quarterback selected by the team, Lamar Jackson.
Jackson's slip in the first round was a bit surprising, and you could see Jackson's anguish about it on his face.
"I'm a Raven-it's on," a certain-looking Jackson told Deion Sanders of the NFL Network. "All year, every year, I'm happy to be a Raven, it does not matter, they're going to get a Super Bowl out of me, believe me."
While there is work to be done with the consistency of Jackson as a passer, the university results were quite impressive, and anyone was surprised that four quarterbacks were chosen before Jackson had a good reason to do so.
After three seasons as a Louisville starter, the winner of the 2016 Heisman Trophy completed 619 passes in 1,086 attempts for a 57.0 completion rate, 9,043 yards, 69 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. As a runner, he was incredibly dynamic, winning 4,132 yards and scoring 50 touchdowns on 655 carries. The completion percentage was one of the blows to Jackson's potential in the NFL, but when you compare him to Josh Allen's 56.2 completion rate in his two seasons as a starter in Wyoming and you consider Allen to be seventh overall with the Bills … well, Jackson slides towards The final round of the first round looks strange.
During the coverage of the NFL Network, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman said the following about Jackson's fall just before Baltimore moved and chose:
"When I was studying, I thought he was a boy of day 2. I am not surprised that he has not been taken off the board yet A couple of things hurt him: he did not score 40 in the harvester, and he did not arrive on time in his 40s on his professional day I felt that, going to his professional day, he plays with his strengths, and his strength is that he can run, he runs very fast,
"The other thing is that he was going to be a guy who He was going to sit and learn, and because of his athletic ability, he would have been able to help the team … with the ball in his hands, he is always a home run threat. Maybe the teams did not think he would be able to do that, maybe that's what made him slide too. "
After the Ravens' election, Aikman framed his comments differently.
"He is obviously a great talent. He has a lot of skill, and his passing game improved as he progressed in recent seasons, and his ability to pass improved quite well. If you look at it, it has been well trained, coming from the offense of Louisville and Bobby Petrino. He probably handled more professional concepts than Baker Mayfield in Oklahoma, in a more complicated offense than the one Sam Darnold led at USC. So, the fact that he is able to sit and observe, learn and become a little more precise as a bystander, is going to serve him well. "
So, it is clear that there are many evaluators that I do not know what to think about. Lamar Jackson, and if the NFL teams were discouraged by Jackson's refusal to run a 40-yard run supposedly because he wanted to be considered a quarterback instead of a pure runner when there is play after playing on the tape that shows an athleticism that reminds Michael Vick at his best, may be rather teams that are discouraged by a player who seemed determined to sculpt his own future.
Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian led the charge of misunderstanding Jackson's potential, suggesting that Jackson would be better off changing the receiver into pros.
It is not uncommon for prospects to be misdiagnosed by the best evaluators, and the Jackson's game resembles few quarterbacks in the entire history of the NFL. m Randall Cunningham to Michael Vick to Robert Griffin III to Colin Kaepernick.
From a coaching and schematic perspective, Jackson has two new defenders who have done well with mobile quarterbacks.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg played that same role with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010, when Vick made his remarkable comeback after spending 21 months in federal prison for his role in a dogfighting operation. Mornhinweg was the man who adapted the West Coast Offensive concepts of Philadelphia to Vick's mobility, and Vick responded with the best passing season of his career. Assistant head coach Greg Roman was San Francisco's offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2014, when Colin Kaepernick brought his Pistol offense from Nevada and merged it with Roman's power block concepts to establish all the defenses the 49ers faced. .
Now it will. It's up to Jackson to take the things he does right to the NFL and improve the things that need work.
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On the bright side, the Aikman point on the complexity of Petrino's offense is correct. Under Petrino, Jackson published a version of the offensive Erhardt-Perkins with which the New England Patriots were very successful throughout the era of Bill Belichick-Tom Brady. The Erhardt-Perkins offense is full of fast plays with little traditional wordiness, the ability to move receivers around the formation without changing the call base on the line of scrimmage and a ton of crossing and option routes. It is a fully developed system that has worked at the highest level of football for years, and to assume that Jackson is just a guy with many drawing skills on earth is to completely underestimate what a quarterback is capable of.
Like a passer, perhaps Jackson's most interesting ability, which also has in common with Vick at its peak, is the ability to hit the ball with great speed. Sometimes, with just a small wrist movement, you will see the ball approaching 40 yards or more in a line.
And while he's obviously amazing as a runner, Jackson is disciplined enough to stay in his pocket even when he's being pushed. He is able to move to different areas of his pocket to evade the hurry, readjust his body, re-read the defense and launch under additional pressure.
According to the Pro Football Focus ranking, Jackson won 73.2 percent of his career running for yards in races designed in opposition to the improvisational revolts. PFF also had it with a high percentage of releases in which it went to its second and third reading, which coincides with the tape.
Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press
On the negative side, the common complaint about Jackson is that he throws from a narrow base, which means he keeps his feet together. Because of this, it does not generate speed and precision from the bottom of your body upwards. Sometimes he has difficulty with short and intermediate accuracy because of this, and his NFL coaches will have to teach him how to align his lower and upper body to get optimal results.
In this way, Jackson's ability to make any throw only with his superior The body is a bit of a disadvantage in the sense that he has not had to make the technical adjustments that the less talented quarterbacks have over the years weather. That Jackson can often overcome his technical responsibilities with pure athletics is something that a player can get away with at the college level, but against more advanced and talented NFL defenses, and by throwing much tighter windows, he will have to refine his palette . 19659004] What makes Jackson such an exciting prospect for the NFL is the development of the types of pitches that each quarterback in the NFL should perform. He can make deep shots on cornerbacks in the arms of receivers in the race. He has improved his touch, timing and goal and fading arc, and is learning to pitch in advance.
Imagine Jackson's attack on the Baltimore offense is not simple because his style is very different from Joe Flacco's. Flacco is a stationary quarterback who throws from the starter action rarely (and not very well). But with Mornhinweg and Roman as staff, the Ravens have coaches who understand how to move a mobile quarterback to the passing game.
The Ravens acquired possession receivers Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead and sprinter John Brown in free agency, and Hurst has the speed to get to the field and threaten the linebackers and slots at Sewing and post routes. Flacco's game has decreased in recent seasons, and with the addition of Griffin as backup, it is clear that the team wants effective mobility in the position, and Jackson already has more passer than Griffin at his best.
Lamar Jackson may not be a starter in the first year in the NFL, and that's fine. What the Ravens did with this selection was to take their mentality with regards to the quarterback position and throw it into their heads. Taking Jackson with the last election in the first round indicates that they believe he can be a credible starter and potentially an incredible talent, regardless of the level of competition.
If that happens, Newsome and the Ravens got the robbery of the 2018 project