This archived article was written by: Tai Justice
Lamar Jackson is a specimen of an athlete on the football field. What he’s able to do with the ball in space is truly breath taking. His explosiveness, cutting ability and straight-line speed is something to behold. In theory, these traits would allow him to play receiver at the next level in the NFL. He could play on the outside or in the slot, and be just fine.
It would be better for him if he switched positions and tried to play quarterback first. What better way to get the ball in his hands as often as possible? Hear me out: let him drop back and throw 25 to 30 times a game. Moving a college wide receiver to quarterback is unheard of, but I think Lama…oh, that’s right, Jackson is already a quarterback and has been playing quarterback his entire football career. Why would you move him to a position he has never played before and limit the amount of time he would have the ball in his hands? I think I know.
The main issue people have is that Jackson is black. Okay, that may have come off a little strong. The only issue that people have is that Jackson is black; let’s just tell it how it is. This “change positions “narrative only comes up with black quarterbacks. Jackson won the Heisman Trophy playing quarterback. Not as receiver, but as quarterback. Jackson took the college football world by storm the past two seasons playing quarterback. Yet Mel Kiper Jr, Bill Polian and other loud mouths on TV think he should change from quarterback to receiver and when asked why they thinks this, most say that he’s not accurate. It’s time to debunk this theory.
The quarterback that “experts” Kiper and Polian think should go first overall: Josh Allen. Let’s compare some stats. Josh Allen’s stats: 56.3 percent completion, 1,812 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. Jackson’s stats: 59.1 percent completion, 3,660 yards, 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. If you just had looked at those stats blindly, without any idea who either player is, everyone would choose Jackson. Not to mention that Allen also doesn’t have close to the same athleticism that Jackson has, and Allen’s team also won less games in a much weaker conference than Jackson’s team. Go ahead and tell me why one is being told he needs to change positions and the other is set to go first overall.
The real reason that Kiper and Polian think this way is because Jackson doesn’t fit how they think a prototypical NFL quarterback should look. Jackson isn’t going to sit back in the pocket and be a “pocket passer.” Throughout the history of the NFL, this type of player has been white 99 percent of the time. Jackson is going lean on his pure talent and arm strength. Jackson can make throws on the run that no other quarterback in the draft can make. I’m not sure how you can watch Jackson play these past two seasons and think, “yeah, that guy should play a different position.”
Kiper and Polian also flat-out lie about Jackson to make their claims that he should change positions look better. Polian went on TV recently and said that Jackson is 5 foot 11 inches. That’s blatantly wrong. Jackson is 6 foot 3 inches. We already talked about the clear double standards that Kiper has set with Jackson and Allen when it comes to accuracy. Jackson was a more accurate thrower in college, but Jackson needs to change positions because of his accuracy and Allen is Kiper’s top quarterback in the draft despite being less accurate.
Now, Jackson isn’t perfect. He does have some flaws in his game, but my problem is with the double standards. I think the idea that people are saying he needs to move positions is downright absurd. He’s a quarterback and should be a surefire first-round pick.
Is Jackson the best quarterback in the draft? That’s debatable, but that’s not my problem here. My problem is with the dangerous and reckless narrative around an incredible talent.