ARLINGTON- The Baltimore Ravens traded with the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire the 32nd overall pick. The Ravens took Lamar Jackson with that pick. Jackson was compared to Michael Vick early on which is a very good comparison. There are a lot of issues that Jackson needs to work out in order to succeed in the NFL. The Ravens need to make sure Jackson works out because they gave the Eagles the 52nd and 125th overall picks as well as a 2019 second round pick to draft him.
What are the main issues for Jackson? First off, his footwork leaves little to be desired. His feet are too close together which will negate his accuracy. This is something that he really needs to work on. If he throws with his feet too close together, Jackson could throw a lot of interceptions and fans might see this in the preseason. He will not get away with poor footwork in the NFL.
Durability could also be a concern. This is the same issue that former Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater faces right now. It’s good to be a mobile quarterback that these passers are known to rack up injuries over time. In 2016, Bridgewater suffered a torn ACL as well as other injuries. The Vikings had to get Sam Bradford in to fill in for Bridgewater. Not all mobile quarterbacks are injury prone. Vick was an absolute stud especially when he ran when receivers were covered. Jackson needs to learn to slide and get and get out of bounds because NFL defenders can hit with a lot more power than in NCAA.
Jackson has good pocket presence and excellent touch on his passes. He won’t throw short bullet passes that have very little chance of being completed. If the Ravens don’t rush Jackson onto the field, he might develop into a really good quarterback. He may never be elite but he has the potential to succeed with years of study and preparation. He needs to develop his mechanics and learn to play it safe. Some people say Jackson has the most upside and played against the tough competition such as Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and Miami.