For some involved in the NFL, Lamar Jackson will never be considered an elite quarterback no matter what he does on the field.
A survey of NFL coaches and executives put the Baltimore Ravens star in "Tier 2" as the 10th best player in the league at his position, via Mike Sando of The Athletic.
"If he has to pass to win the game, they ain't winning the game," a defensive coordinator told Sando. "He's so unique as an athlete and he's really a good football player, but I don't give a s--t if he wins the league MVP 12 times, I don't think he'll ever be a 1 as a quarterback. He'll be a 1 as a football player, but not as a quarterback."
Jackson reportedly received eight of 50 votes for Tier 1, but also got another eight votes for Tier 3, per Sando. The first tier featured Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow.
Heading into his fifth NFL season, Jackson is already more accomplished than some on the list above him with one MVP award and two Pro Bowl selections.
The 25-year-old showcased his full skill set in 2019, leading the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns with only six interceptions, plus 1,206 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
An ankle injury slowed him down in 2021 and he finished with just 16 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 games. He rushed for 767 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The inconsistency as a passer leaves many to question his upside as a quarterback.
"So many games come down to two-minute, and that is why they have a hard time advancing even when they are good on defense," the defensive coordinator continued. "Playoffs are tight. You have to be able to throw the ball, and he is just so inconsistent throwing the ball. It is hit or miss."
The Ravens are 37-12 in the regular season with Jackson starting and just 1-3 in the playoffs.
Baltimore missed the playoffs last year amidst an injury-plagued season on both sides of the ball. The defense ranked 19th in points allowed after finishing in the top three in the category in each of the previous three seasons.
Despite the challenges of 2021, Jackson did have a career-best four fourth-quarter comebacks and four game-winning drives. The team was 7-5 with the superstar under center and just 1-4 without him.
Though others around the league might be better pure passers, there is no denying Jackson has been a key part of the Ravens' success in recent seasons. If he is winning 12 MVPs, as the anonymous coach suggested, Baltimore is likely in very good shape.
The coach might have an outdated definition of a quarterback if they refuse to put a perennial MVP in the Tier 1 conversation.