Lamar Jackson NFL Draft 2018: Scouting Report for Baltimore Ravens' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 27, 2018

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) passes the ball against Mississippi State during the first half of the TaxSlayer Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

POSITIVES

Jackson is a unique athlete with the ability to beat a defense with his arm or legs.

Has a whip-fast delivery and plenty of arm strength despite not being a full-body thrower.

Jackson can beat defenders to the corner with his legs and takes games over as a runner. He's the best running quarterback in college since Michael Vick and compares favorably to him.

His ability to turn nothing into something will excite teams that have adapted to more college-friendly offenses, but his success will hinge on where he's drafted and if the offensive coaches believe in his development.

Jackson has the type of tools that will frustrate defenses because of his dual-threat ability.

             

NEGATIVES

Jackson's wrist-flip passing motion and narrow base when throwing cause the ball to sail.

He'll have to rework his setup and better drive the ball with his legs to improve his accuracy—especially on out routes.

—He hasn't shown on tape that he can fit the ball consistently into tight windows up the seam.

—Jackson improved in the pocket in 2017 but still bails too early at times and opens up his smaller frame to hits.

There are concerns among NFL scouts that Jackson is a "one read, two read, run" quarterback who won't be able to make complex pro reads.

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GRADE: 6.75 (Round 2)

PRO COMPARISON: Michael Vick

           

OVERALL

His game isn't a natural fit for the NFL and will require development, but Jackson has game-changing athleticism and playmaking skills.

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