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2018 NFL Draft NFL Opinion/Editorial

2018 NFL Draft: Quarterback or Wide Receiver? What Is Lamar Jackson’s NFL Future?


Despite being one of the most prolific college players to step on a gridiron, there seems to be a growing debate on what position Louisville Cardinals quarterback, Lamar Jackson will play at the next level.

Quarterback, wide receiver, running back or maybe a mix of undefined roles, no one quite has a clue on what’s in Jackson’s NFL future.


Is he the next Michael Vick, or the second coming of Kordell “Slash” Stewart?

Who knows, but thanks to his combination of elusively, creativity and ability to make plays, Jackson could very well be the ultimate wildcard in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft.

Some feel that despite being 6’3 and 220 pounds, that he doesn’t quite have the arm talent of projected top-five QB prospects such as Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen or even Baker Mayfield, and that he might have to switch positions on Sundays, but it takes a lot to become only the second player in FBS history to pass for 3,000-plus yards and rush for another 1,000 on the ground in back-to-back seasons.

96 total touchdowns and 10,375 total yards, is nothing to sneeze at either.

I hate to be THAT guy that drops the proverbial race card, but what is about African-American quarterbacks being asked, or even the suggestion, of them having to switch positions in the NFL.

I’m 41 years old, and am old enough to remember seeing the likes of Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, the late Steve McNair, Daunte Culpepper and the aforementioned Vick and Stewart. Vick was the first black quarterback who was athletic enough to change the game and redefine modern-day mobile quarterbacks.

People and critics may be loathe to admit this, based on his ties to illegal dog fighting, but Vick is the god-father of the present-day African-American quarterback. Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson, rookie phenom Deshaun Watson and Buffalo Bills star quarterback Tyrod Taylor all owe Vick a tremendous debt in paving the way for dual-threat mobile black quarterbacks such as them.

What does this mean for Jackson? Thar remains to be seen, but the mere thought and mention of him not being an NFL-level quarterback, but is clearly being fanned by false narratives and the racially-based perception of athletic black quarterbacks not quite being “NFL-level”.

Depending on how he does on his pro day and at the NFL Scouting Combine, hopefully Jackson can change that perception even further and that his name does belong in the one of quarterback, and not something else.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]

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