If you ask NFL.com analyst Mike Mayock, it isn’t a matter of “if” Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is a first round draft pick, rather it is a matter of “when” he will he hear his name called.
Mayock is one of the many football experts who think the 2016 Heisman Trophy Winner is a certain first-round talent and he will play quarterback in the NFL, regardless of the conversation some teams may want him to take a shot at playing wide receiver.
Per Edward Lewis of NFL.com, Mayock told reporters on a conference call Friday that it wouldn’t surprise him if some team jumped into the top 10 to take arguably the most exciting player in college football the past few years.
“The guy I’m just really excited about is Lamar Jackson,” Mayock said. “He’s the most spectacular athlete in this draft. I think somebody in the first round is going to make a philosophical and schematic commitment to this kid and change what they do offensively, and it might not be this year where he makes a significant move. But I think long term, I can’t wait to see what Lamar Jackson becomes.”
If you ask different writers from different websites, Lamar Jackson could be taken as high as 11th with the Miami Dolphins and could fall to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 29th pick. There was talk last week that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was impressed with the Louisville product. Of course, that set off a media storm given Brady’s on the downside of his career and his status for this season as not been confirmed.
For now, the focus is the middle to the late part of the first round for Lamar Jackson, although the Dolphins, Buffalo Bills (12th), Arizona Cardinals (15th) and Baltimore Ravens (16th) could all take a look at him.
Mayock thinks the Patriots may be a destination for Jackson as well as another playoff team from last year.
“Mayock said to keep an eye on the New Orleans Saints and Patriots. The two squads — while owners of currently statuesque quarterbacks — have innovative enough coaches to select Jackson and completely flip their offenses if and when Drew Brees and Tom Brady hang them up,” Lewis wrote.