Lamar Jackson: Ultimate Weapon


The most exciting player in football is Lamar Jackson. Coming off a 442 yard, 4 touchdown game during week 5, it is evident that Jackson is a real quarterback. Jackson is far from your traditional quarterback. The position has been known to stand in the pocket and deliver passes down the field, but Jackson is breaking that norm. Through his young NFL career, we have seen Jackson roll out of the pocket and do something we have never seen before: rush for over 1000 yard in 2 of 3 full seasons. He is well on pace to do it again this year. Jackson is a genuine game-changer in the sense that he will dominate on the field while simultaneously forcing others to reconsider how the quarterback position should be played.

A New Kind of Quarterback

“He’s a running back.” This critique is ubiquitous, but it is completely false. Jackson is a representation of how a dynamic quarterback can drive a team’s success. A game changer like Jackson has never been in the NFL. Since Lamar entered the league, the Ravens have been a playoff competitor. Too many people focused on a familiar comparison rather than seeing Jackson for what he truly was: a complete quarterback prospect. Having quick legs is just a bonus on top of what Lamar can already do, he can throw the ball just as well as any quarterback in the league showing how complete his game really is. Others have done similar things, just not to the same extent as Lamar. And few quarterbacks can match Jackson’s contributions to the Ravens. Nonetheless, the concept of being more open to non-traditional prospects and developing around their unique skill set must be at the forefront of the NFL’s future development.

Don’t Compare

Comparisons to Michael Vick became commonplace since he was the only genuinely outstanding open-field runner from the quarterback position to merit true franchise status. But Vick would still fear contact and came nowhere near the success Lamar has seen running. Jackson is a more complete player than his predecessor was. Vick entered the game as a unique physical specimen with outstanding speed and a flick-of-the-wrist release that put the arms of many other quarterbacks to shame. Despite this, Vick didn’t become an effective passer until later in his career, when his athleticism began to diminish. At least when he wasn’t running as much. In his fourth season, Jackson offers the best of both worlds. Jackson also has displayed elite running abilities while having a fluid throwing motion.  The Ravens recognized the opportunity. The company adopted a unique approach, constructing a structure around his skill set. Raven’s coach, John Harbough, wasn’t afraid to start from the ground up and incorporate a hefty dose of collegiate ideas to maximize his talent while making him comfortable in the passing game. 

Accept the Exceptional

It’s time to realize that Lamar Jackson will never play quarterback according to any Quarterbacking 101 manual. He’s not even going to play quarterback like Patrick Mahomes, who is widely considered as the gold standard for this generation of quarterbacks. However, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback is perfectly capable of guiding his team to victory while displaying a unique set of skills, like his ability to take off whenever he pleases, that few can match and that defenders will constantly fight to stop. It’s time to quit wondering when Jackson will make the transition to high level quarterback. Jackson proved himself to be the ultimate weapon — and exceptional in his own right – whether with his arm or his legs.