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2018 Ravens 1st Round Draft Pick (#32) - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

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5 hours ago, Danand said:

You guys are kidding yourselves into believing Jackson is such an elite talent, that he will avoid hits and injuries like players similar to him. 

No, I'm saying he's not going to take as many of those hits as others would. And a lot of the hits he will take should be more glancing blows than squared-up destruction. There are running backs who have/had the same sort of deal going for them. Jackson will too.

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If Jackson has to take off and run more than a handful of times per game, then the Ravens are doing things wrong. I don't care how great a runner he is, I don't want a would-be franchise QB trying to dance between Defensive Linemen and Linebackers, and I definitely don't want him trying to evade hard-hitting Safeties.

Jackson has to be a good passer, first and foremost, to make it in the NFL. So every report that's positive about him throwing the ball makes me happy.

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We didn't draft Lamar to be Peyton or Brady, and he never will be. Any strides he makes as a passer are great but he's an elite runner. It's no different than only wanting Aaron Rodgers to use his legs, it's a waste of value. The injury rate is 100% in the NFL. LJ will be injured at some point, it's inevitable. The best we can hope for is his ability to avoid serious injuries carries over to the NFL, and if he is dinged up that he'll continue to progress enough to rely on his arm alone in those instances. 

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Who said he should be like Peyton or Brady? The guys he should be looking to emulate are Russell Wilson and Cam Newton,  RPO QBs who successfully adapted their game to the NFL. They run when they have to, but look to pass first. And they've still taken too many hits, because no matter their athleticism, defenders will always get to you, sooner or later.

Russell Wilson's average rushing YPG in the NFL is 34. Cam's is 39. That's fine. That's manageable. But their passing YPG are almost identical, at 231 and 230. So that's got to be the blueprint for Jackson.

Even Kaepernick averaged just 33 YPG rushing, but his passing was way down on the other two, at just 177. Which is why he has never developed into a genuine starting QB.

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Posted (edited)

I have concerns when all the reporters say he shines when he runs the ball. Id like them to say he shines when he throws the ball.... Simply because everyone states hes not a run first QB,  but it sure sounds like he will be

Edited by paraven

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, paraven said:

Simply because everyone states hes not a run first QB,  but it sure sounds like he will be

Why not watch his cut ups yourself and come to your own conclusion? Your opinion on Lamar would be taken more seriously if you backed it up with examples from games of his, and statistics that fall in line with your take. No credible analyst considers Lamar a run first QB. That conversation has never even been floated, and for good reason too. Anyone putting it out there would highlight their own ignorance over his game, or indicate a motive that doesn't include having a fair and balanced opinion on who Lamar is as a player.

Also why would OTA chatter influence your opinion so much? Darnold and Mayfield have done horribly in OTAs from what I've read. Does that mean they're destined to now be horrible pocket QBs?

1 hour ago, paraven said:

Id like them to say he shines when he throws the ball

There absolutely has been complements and praise for Lamar's arm talent since OTAs and Rookie camp have begun. Something tells me they aren't registering for you....

1 hour ago, Mancunian Raven said:

Who said he should be like Peyton or Brady? The guys he should be looking to emulate are Russell Wilson and Cam Newton,  RPO QBs who successfully adapted their game to the NFL. They run when they have to, but look to pass first. And they've still taken too many hits, because no matter their athleticism, defenders will always get to you, sooner or later.

That isn't the case. You think the only time Newton or Wilson run is when it's their only option?

The benefit of a having an intelligent dual threat QB, which Jackson is, are the opportunistic mismatches and plays that can be exploited and created when the QB sees them. There will be times when a back shoulder throw to a receiver is a viable option, but a 30 yard scamper is the safer and more intelligent choice for Jackson personally and he will take it.

All QBs are susceptible to injuries, LJ's chances at them will be heightened as a runner but so will the dynamism of our attack, chances at winning games, and nabbing rings. Which is why we drafted him. To lean on his abilities en route to a Super Bowl victory, which is why any player is drafted.

Kareem Hunt led the league in rushing last year with 1,327 yards. Mike Vick had 1,039 rush yards as his highest total ever in 2006. It needs to be accepted that Jackson is capable of eclipsing both those marks quite easily, while still dropping marketable passing production, and avoiding major injury. Why?, because that's what all the information points to and until that's proven to not be the case, why spend all this time on conjecture?

Lamar has gone up against bigger, better, and stronger competition than Vick ever did and has never missed a game due to injury. Why is a negative that doesn't exist being focused on? It's a possibility sure, but the evidence isn't there that this should be such a major discussion point.

We drafted a more polished as passer, more skilled as a runner, clean off the field, higher intangibles player when compared to Vick, and at pick #32! Bringing him into a better situation than Vick was ever privileged with, into a league where smaller defenders and rules benefiting offensive players are rampant, and he doesn't have to start right away so he can continue to grow as a player! I don't understand the pessimism.

Alex Collin's tendency to fumble the ball is a more proven concern than Lamar Jackson and injuries, yet only positive vibes surround Collins. 

Newton and Wilson wish they had Lamar's ability to run, because if they did maybe Newton would have a ring and Wilson multiple. Why does Lamar's adaptation of his college game to his pro game need to include the taming of an elite ability not present in Russell and Cam? That isn't a logical conclusion. 

 

Edited by DreamKid

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Yeah, not to compare Lamar Jackson to him on a speed level (though Jackson is obviously fast) but Chris Johnson was able to succeed in the NFL as a 5’11” 200 lbs running back, with minimal durability issues. Which is a similar size profile to Jackson. Similarly to Johnson, Jackson has proven to be durable while taking hits in college. Jackson is literally the same size, speed, and power combination as Adrian Peterson at 6’2” 220 lbs. If he didn’t have legitimate QB ability, he would probably be an elite RB option.

That said, it’s not ideal for him to take those hits. But we’ll assuredly utilize him on some designed runs. He’s also going to have a season where he rushes for 1000 yds for sure.

As long as he does it by ending those plays with him running out of bounds, I’m absolutely cool with it.

In terms of the Jackson as a passer part, he’s been executing some. But of course the media is going to build Flacco up to be the best passer. Because 1) he is, 2) he is the starter, and 3) the Ravens come control the message. Saying Jackson is crushing it as a passer only invites unnecessary QB controversy this season from fans when the team should be focused on winning football games with Flacco under center.

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Great breakdown from Matt Waldman on Lamar starting at 36:43-

http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cfb/78000/461/podcast-waldman-on-qbs

-Here are the stats highlighting Matt's point about putting Lamar Jackson's completion % into context. Bringing up how Wilson played in a similar system at NC State and put up passing figures actually worse than Lamar's, but showed the same impressive traits LJ does, and when those traits were utilized in a more favorable offense like Wisconsin's an incredible shift in efficiency+accuracy occurred. 

*Russell Wilson had a redshirt year(2007) and was two years older than Lamar during each compared season. He was 23 years old when drafted, Lamar was/is 21.

*Note the similar Att.s but more passing yards from Jackson, and the insane difference in rushing totals that show just the kind of monster LJ8 is.

Year School Passing Rushing
Comp Att Yds TD Int Pct Eff Att Yds Avg TD
2008 NC State 150 275 1,955 17 1 54.5 133.9 116 394 3.4 4
2009 NC State 224 378 3,027 31 11 59.3 147.8 103 260 2.5 4
2010 NC State 308 527 3,563 28 14 58.4 127.5 143 435 3.0 9
2011 Wisconsin 225 309 3,175 33 4 72.8 191.8 79 338 4.3 6
College totals 907 1,489 11,720 109 30 60.9 147.2 441 1,427 3.2 23
NCAA collegiate career statistics
Louisville Cardinals
Season Games Passing Rushing
G GS Comp Att Pct Yards TD Int Rate Att Yards Avg TD
2015 12 8 135 247 54.7 1,840 12 8 126.8 163 960 5.9 11
2016 13 13 230 409 56.2 3,543 30 9 148.8 260 1,571 6.0 21
2017 13 13 254 430 59.1 3,660 27 10 146.6 232 1,601 6.9 18
Career 38 34 619 1,086 57.0 9,043 69 27 142.9 655 4,132 6.3 50

 

Great video designed to quickly show you how Jackson intelligently utilizes his athletic gifts with- an escape pressure play, high level processing 3rd down play, and lightning release TD play-

 

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Posted (edited)

Jackson just runs around and scrambles: False

Lamar-Jackson-run-yards.jpg

Let’s start with the rushing yards. Jackson’s gaudy rushing totals stemmed mostly from his ability in the designed running game, they weren’t the result of broken pass plays. He gained 73 percent of his career rushing yards on designed run plays, while only 27 percent came on scrambles. Last season, 22.4 percent of Jackson passing attempts came outside the pocket, a number that ranked only 15th in the draft class. He’s looking to pass first, and run second, but when he did break the pocket, he posted the second-highest PFF grade in the draft class. Jackson’s athleticism is a legitimate weapon at the next level, but the idea that he’s merely a runner who might pass the ball is simply false.

Lamar Jackson doesn’t work through progressions: False

Jackson has no problem sitting in the pocket and surveying the field. In fact, he had the second-highest percentage of passes in which he got to a second/third read in the class, and he had the fourth-highest accuracy percentage among the 10 quarterbacks with advanced charting. That’s a huge upgrade from his overall accuracy that ranked 10th, showing that working through multiple reads and throwing accurately is the least of Jackson’s problems.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/draft-2018-nfl-draft-narrative-busters

Edited by DreamKid

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@DreamKid

I think the funny thing is that five years from now when Jackson is a legitimate star in the league and an MVP candidate, some analysts will stumble for the stats to explain how their agenda to not notice him was an honest mistake. How enough people on this website in NFL Gen will point to how he’s an outlier and that no one saw this type of ability from him as a player. Everyone will scramble to try and explain his greatness and why they were wrong to grossly underestimate his ability, like we saw with Russel Wilson in retrospect. It’s coming.

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The bit about designed runs in important. Baltimore will have those for Jackson. And he will be a terror on them. I'm not necessarily advocating for Lamar to take off and run on any time he drops back. Just that it would be exceedingly foolish not to utilize his talent running the ball. He is not Cam Newton. He is not Russel Wilson. He is not Colin Kaepernick. Lets not force him into the same roles as those guys. DreamKid putting it as timing of an elite ability is spot-on. Though, for what it's worth, he's probably going to end up as the second best passer of the bunch. 

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During the 2015 season, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton carried the ball 103 times on designed runs for 414 yards and eight touchdowns. Those numbers trumped every other quarterback in the league, with Buffalo's Tyrod Taylor (53 carries, 171 yards, three touchdowns) and Seattle's Russell Wilson (46 carries, 150 yards) sitting behind Newton on the leaderboard. Scramble drills and broken plays accounted for 222 of Newton's total rushing yards this season (636 yards).

This play is a touchdown if it's Lamar...

https://streamable.com/6jk9

Cam gets the TD and so would've Lamar

https://streamable.com/9b1n

Cam executing pretty basic read option play, and hooks essentially 8 defenders. What could Lamar have done on this play?

https://streamable.com/fx8l

Cam while an uber athlete in his own right and certainly an accomplished runner for his position, can't claim the kind of dynamism to his attack Jackson can. Lamar has tape and time tested sub 4.4 speed, and his array of skills and attributes as a pure runner would allow him to play running back in the NFL full time. Cam's sub 4.6 speed makes him a problem for defenders on his touches. He's a smooth runner and he's got some wiggle but every time you see a run from him, after having watched Lamar, you see yards, plays, and potential TDs left on the field.

Take a look at this, some recent and future young NFL stars and their best running figures from college-

Leonard Fournette (2015):  Attempts- 300,  Yards- 1,953,  Avg-6.51,  TDs-22,  Forced Missed Tackles: 88 on Total Touches: 319

Dalvin Cook (2016):  Attempts- 288,  Yards- 1,765,  Avg- 6.13, TDs-19,  Forced Missed Tackles: 89 on Total Touches: 321

Kareem Hunt (2016): Attempts- 262,  Yards- 1,475,  Avg- 5.63, TDs-10,  Forced Missed Tackles: 88 on Total Touches: 303

Alvin Kamara* (15&16): Attempts- 210,  Yards- 1,294,  Avg- 6.16, TDs-16,  Forced Missed Tackles: 90 on Total Touches: 284

Derrius Guice (2016): Attempts- 183,  Yards- 1,387,  Avg- 7.58, TDs-15,  Forced Missed Tackles: 52 on Total Touches: 192

Saquon Barkley (2016): Attempts- 272,  Yards- 1,496 , Avg- 5.5, TDs-18,  Forced Missed Tackles: 80 on total touches: 300     

*I included Kamara because he's a fun reference and just combined his two years for context because he didn't have as many carry opportunities as the rest.

^^^Those top 3 are the highest forced missed tackle season stats of all time, only surpassed by Iowa State's David Montgomery's insane 101 on 264 touches last year. The stat only became tracked officially since 2014 but is obviously one that reflects favorably. 

Now let's look at Lamar Jackson's totals-

(2016): Attempts- 215,  Yards- 1,887,  Avg- 8.7, TDs-21,  Forced Missed Tackles: 48 on Total Touches: 215

(2017): Attempts- 204,  Yards- 1,760, Avg- 8.2, TDs-18,  Forced Missed Tackles: 50 on Total Touches: 204  

The first thing that jumps out at you is how much more LJ gets with each attempt compared to the rest, his breakaway speed and elite vision chew up yards. Also remember that a forced missed tackle isn't just dodging tacklers, it also accounts for things like trucks and breaking arm tackles. Which for me puts Jackson's totals right where I want them. It shows he has an elite ability to make defenders miss, but also shows he isn't getting the same kind of contact a traditional running back does. He isn't increasing his totals by trucking through defenders for an extra 2 yards like Fournette or running through arm tackles like Barkley, he's eluding defenders completely and if they get near him they soon meet air after a quick juke. That's exactly how you want a dual threat QB to operate.

Lamar built those stats on runs just as designed as the running backs referenced above. Designed runs can sound scary to fans who automatically picture Newton slamming into a defender, but that just won't be the case with Lamar. Spend your energy on excitement over the elite production we'll get from his running ability, not worrying over some freak injury happening to one of the most durable and productive players in history.

In all of Cam's runs in the above video, you can argue his often talked about size is more of a detriment than anything. He's slower, a bigger target, and he takes unnecessary contact because he feels he can. I understand the thinking behind the chatter of him being the ideal build for a running QB, but I disagree. Cam has made a lot of play with 4.56 speed and 1 juke move, but I'll take Lamar's 4.34 and 100 jukes. Slender frame and all. He'll take 1/10 the hits Newton does and dwarf his production by even wider margin.

 

 

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Along the same lines as everyone else here, I want LJ, above all else, to watch film of how Russell Wilson scrambles and protects himself. He almost never takes big hits, and it's been a huge reason why he's been so dominant and dangerous in the league. His ability to stay healthy and also be a dual-threat is paramount for that offense, and QB's like Luck and Cam and RGIII never figured that out.

I'm just honestly really excited to see what this offense does with LJ and the new schemes they implement to get him involved. Our offenses are usually so boring with Flacco, it's about time we injected some creativity and new concepts.

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I always appreciate how, for the most part, we never have any drama with our 1st-round picks signing their contracts.

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