Lamar Jackson has been one of the most dynamic and exciting players in the NFL since he first stepped into the starting lineup in the middle of his rookie season in 2018 under center for the Baltimore Ravens. He took the league by storm in 2019, becoming just the second-ever unanimous league MVP, and the youngest ever as well.
He has achieved some truly remarkable things, at a young age, in his first three seasons so far, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1000 or more yards in more than one season. But questions linger about how far he and push himself as a passer, which, as a quarterback, is pretty important.
Over the course of his first three seasons, through 37 starts, Jackson has thrown for a whopping 7085 yards, which comes out to an average of under 192 passing yards per game. That’s 1970s numbers, so it’s understandable why some are concerned, with the Ravens 1-3 in the postseason over the past three years.
“Lamar can throw the ball”, former Ravens safety and Hall of Famer Ed Reed said recently. “He can throw it far. He can throw it short. He can get the ball wherever it needs to be. It’s a matter of putting him in a position to be successful. I would like to see him with different route combinations and different spacings, giving him more chances outside the pocket”.
Baltimore’s passing game has also been criticized, arguing that it remains too simplistic, and also simply needing more talent. Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Willie Snead, and Devin Duvernay is not exactly the most distinguished receiving corps in the league. Which is why Jackson runs so much, partly.
“His speed sticks out like no other. When Lamar takes off, he’s cat quick. This young man stops on a dime. That sticks out big-time to me”, Reed said. “How fast he is and how quick he can get out of the pocket. He’s something with the ball in his hand. I enjoy watching Lamar big time”.
it’s hard not to enjoy watching Jackson. It’s undeniable that he is an exciting player, responsible for some of the most electric high-reel plays over the course of the past couple of seasons, without question. But what is in question is whether or not he needs to become a better passer in order to take his game, and the Ravens, to the next level.