Pretty much every scout and anyone that has any kind of pull in the NFL has slandered Lamar Jackson has a Quarterback. Many have suggested a position change. most likely to Wide Receiver. This is a common theme with African American QBs; Braxton Miller and Terrelle Pryor are recent athletes that have made this change in position. Braxton Miller did not get to play QB at the NFL level and Terrelle Pryor made the switch after his 3rd season in the league. Many of the same criticisms that are applied to Jackson have been applied to both Miller and Pryor. Inaccuracy, not being a pocket passer and a weak throwing arm are all things that are being said about Lamar Jackson.
I don’t agree with any of these. I understand that the college game is played way different than the game at the NFL level, but at least give Lamar a shot at being a Quarterback before jumping the gun and switching him to Wide Receiver before he even takes a snap for an NFL team. He won the Heisman trophy as a Quarterback at Louisville. Louisville has not been a prominent football program throughout my lifetime, and Lamar Jackson made them relevant. His play did slip this past season and there were times where he struggled in a conference that is not particularly known for football, but he still has shown that he can be an elite player. Jackson beat out Deshaun Watson for his Heisman Trophy and Watson had a very successful Rookie campaign before being injured. I don’t think Lamar Jackson will be a better NFL player than Deshaun Watson, but I think that if Watson was given a chance to start at QB without anyone yelling for his position change to WR, Lamar Jackson should get that same opportunity.
The scouting report on Lamar Jackson compares him to the legendary Michael Vick. Vick had a pretty successful career as a scrambling QB and was unable to do much with his arm. Lamar Jackson has similar scrambling ability to Michael Vick and a better arm. Again, I’m not saying that Jackson will have a career equivalent to Michael Vick, but he shows potential to be a successful Quarterback at the NFL level.
Josh Rosen played like trash this past season at UCLA, but scouts still love him. He fits the physical stereotype that NFL scouts and executives are looking for, so seeing him go in the top 5 would not be shocking. Lamar Jackson is head and shoulders above Josh Rosen talent wise, but he is not getting the same attention that Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, and Sam Darnold are receiving.
If you notice, all those QBs mentioned above have one thing in common that is obvious by just looking at them; they are all white. The stereotype of a tall white QB in the NFL has become more and more apparent as the years go on. African American college Quarterbacks are often looked at first as athletes and then as Quarterbacks, regardless of the success they have in college. This definitely needs to change in the NFL. There are a lot of teams with bad Quarterbacks and there are some African American QBs either not employed (Kaepernick) or playing different positions on the field (Terrelle Pryor and Braxton Miller). There are many teams in need of a better QB and their answers are in free agency or at another position.