Dual-threat Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson electrified the nation last season with his incredible runs, accurate deep bombs, and uncanny ability to completely dominate the gridiron despite opponents' best efforts to slow him down.
It's rare we get to witness a player with that much athleticism and skill. Jackson — much like Michael Vick at Virginia Tech — legitimately looks like he's in a video game at times, making defenders look downright silly along the way.
These are the types of plays that are seemingly routine for the Louisville signal caller. It's nothing short of ridiculous.
As Jackson's madness unfolded, the usual narrative about his future potential in the NFL sprung into conversations. There were mixed reviews last season, but it wasn't hard to find harsh criticism about Jackson's NFL potential. Look no further than a Sports Illustrated piece written in January outlining former Clemson QB Deshaun Watson's draft stock.
"Watson has a chance to be as good as Winston," an anonymous ACC coach told SI. "We played he and Lamar Jackson, and Jackson has no shot of playing quarterback in the NFL. None. He can't make the throws and can't read coverage. He's not going to have a chance."
Keep in mind, the anonymous ACC coach made that statement when Jackson's Heisman-caliber season had come to an end. He saw everything he needed to know to come up with an informed decision.
It seems though, the narrative has changed a bit in regards to how NFL talent evaluators now view the Cardinals' jack-of-all-trades. Sports Illustrated's Peter King put together a piece with quotes from anonymous NFL scouts about Jackson and other future NFL prospects. Here's one that stood out.
"He has a future in the NFL, no doubt. We just need to see a little more from him to see where he fits in. Yes, he's a runner, but he's a talented runner. Very talented. I'd like to know a little more about his football IQ. It seems like coaches simplified a lot fo the reads for him, a lot of the offense. How much will the coaching staff be able to add to his plate, how quickly can he process?"
While there are mixed reviews as of now, one thing seems to be certain. NFL scouts fully recognize Jackson's big-play ability as a runner but have concerns about him as a passer. So where will he fall in next year's NFL draft?
Almost every major media outlet that has released an early mock draft pegs Jackson as a first-round talent.
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