2018 Cardinals Draft Profile
Name: Lamar Jackson
Weight: 200 lbs
Projected: 1st – 2nd round
Lamar Jackson was an electrifying quarterback during his three years in Louisville. As a freshman in 2015 he appeared in 12 games, starting eight of them. His 2016 season blew the doors off of college football and put Jackson on the map. Jackson saw his passing attempts increase from 247 in 2015 to 409 in 2016. His passing yardage jumped from 1,840 to 3,543 while throwing 30 touchdowns to nine interceptions. In 2015, Jackson threw 12 touchdowns against eight interceptions. He also added 1,571 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns, en route to a 2016 Heisman Trophy win. In his final collegiate season, Jackson threw for even more yards, finishing with 3,660, while also adding another 29 passing touchdowns and 18 rushing scores.
Jackson is not a polished quarterback. He is athletic and throw the football, but he does have some accuracy issues. That said, he has an extremely high ceiling and would do well to sit for a year to learn the offense and grow both physically and as a quarterback. The Cardinals present that option for him. Jackson could sit behind current quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon while he learns Mike McCoy’s offense. He is best suited for an offense that offers a run-pass option. Working with running back David Johnson will undoubtedly help with the transition. Jackson can make explosive plays with both his arm and legs so some designed looks during his first season is highly likely. If he is there when the Cardinals pick in the first round, they should count their blessing and select the Louisville product.
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Strong arm and can throw a tight football. Ball seemingly shot out of a cannon with a simple flick of the wrist. College offense featured NFL heavy routes and progressions. Comfortable playing under center. Game changing ability with legs and arm. Excellent touch on deep passes. Running ability forces defenses to account for him at all time. Will use running ability to force defenders to choose between him and receivers. Willing to stand tall in the pocket and take a hit to get the ball out. Great speed which is combined with good field vision. He will take a sack rather than put the ball up for grabs. Has improved in every aspect of being a quarterback each year. Film shows a much more accurate passer than what stats show, suffered from a drop rate of eight percent.
Will need to get a little bigger to compensate for the style of play in the NFL. Deep ball needs to be more accurate as he sometimes will underthrow the pass. Needs to improve footwork in the pocket. Numbers show an inaccurate passer but has steadily improved. Will need to limit turnovers.