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Lamar Jackson Louisville Cardinals Quarterback 6-2, 211, 4.42, #8 Pompano Beach, Florida Boynton Beach High School
12/30/17: Lamar Jackson set a Taxslayer Bowl record with 158 yards rushing but his Louisville Cardinals lost to Mississippi , 31-27, in Jacksonville's EverBank Field. He was intercepted six times -- three by safety Mark McLaurin-- and sacked six times. Still, the game was on the line until the last play, Jackson's Hail Mary into the end zone, which was batted down. Jackson is the only player in FBS history to rush for at least 1,500 yards and pass for at least 3,500 yards in a season. He has now done it twice (2016 and 2017). ... Jackson also entered the 50-50 club with 50 career touchdowns rushing and 50 career touchdowns passing, joining Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow as the only players in FBS history with career totals above 50 and 50 -- Howie Lindsey, The Sports Xchange.
== At the conclusion of the 2017 regular season, Jackson was named the ACC's Player and Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, the only man in the league's 65-year history to accomplish this feat.
The youngest Heisman Trophy winner in history and just the sixth all-time to be named at least a finalist the year after taking home the most famous trophy in sports, Jackson is arguably the biggest star in the 2018 NFL draft.
That fact, however, does not necessarily mean that he will be drafted as such or enjoy similar success in the NFL.
In fact, when one considers the relative lack of NFL success of the five men Jackson joined this season as two-time finalists - Oklahoma's Jason White (2003-04), Southern Cal's Matt Leinart (2004-05), Florida's Tim Tebow (2008-09), Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel (2013-14) and the only two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin (1974-75) - Jackson's path to potential NFL superstardom could be one of the more hotly debated topics of the spring.
Jackson showed improved accuracy and poise from within the pocket from a year ago, keeping his eyes downfield to locate receivers breaking free late even as the rush intensifies and setting his feet to deliver strikes on NFL-caliber throws requiring velocity, timing and touch. He took snaps from under center as well as the shotgun, showing off the vision, poise and body control to quickly reset if pressured and throw accurately on the move.
For all of his obvious strengths, Jackson still appears more comfortable as a runner than a passer and he remains a projection into the "pro-style" offense most NFL teams prefer. Jackson runs the ball like a master strategist playing chest, often setting up defenders with shoulder fakes and altered gaits, stringing together moves and instinctively eluding opponents.
This same anticipation is not always evident as a passer, however. Jackson routinely stared down his primary target at Louisville, often waiting for his receiver to make his break before delivering the pass. Further, Jackson sails some intermediate and short throws, occasionally forcing his receivers to alter their routes or leap into the air to make twirling catches, leaving them vulnerable to big hits and eliminating some run-after-catch opportunities.
During his Heisman Trophy winning 2016 campaign, Jackson rushed for 1,571 yards and 21 touchdowns, while passing for 3,543 yards and 30 touchdowns. He set a school record with 5,114 yards of total offense and scored a league-record 51 touchdowns. Not only did Jackson win the Heisman, he took home the Davey O'Brien (nation's top quarterback) and Maxwell Award (nation's top player), as well. A year earlier, he showed off the dual-threat talent that would make him a star, finishing second in the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year voting despite starting just eight of 12 games, accounting for a cool 2,800 all-purpose yards (1,840 passing) and 21 touchdowns (12 passing) against eight interceptions.
Though he did not receive as much fanfare, Jackson led the nation in total offense with 4,932 yards over the course of the 2017 regular season. His production is all the more impressive given that for the third consecutive year his completion percentage rose (60.4% at end of the regular season) despite attempting a career-long 8.74 yards per throw. Facing some of the most gifted defenses in the country, Jackson threw multiple interceptions in just one game all year long - tossing two in a 42-3 beat-down of Kent State in which he completed 18 of 22 passes overall and did not play in the fourth quarter.
BACKGROUND A 4-star prospect in the state of Florida who signed with Bobby Petrino and Louisville over the likes of Florida State, Auburn, South Carolina, Ohio State, Nebraska, West Virginia, Georgia and Central Florida, among others. Graded as high as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the country by recruiting experts after finishing the 2014 season with 1,293 passing yards and 20 touchdowns along with 1,039 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns.
STRENGTHS Possesses a lean, athletic frame with room for at least another 10 pounds of added muscle mass, especially in his limbs. An exceptional athlete for quarterback and a legitimate NFL-caliber athlete regardless of position. Possesses rare straight-line speed, including the breakaway speed to destroy pursuit angles and has the agility to make defenders look silly in the open field.
Boasts a rocket for an arm, easily tossing the ball 50+ yards with a simple flick of the wrist and showing the ability to drive the ball through traffic without a windup or step into his throw. Steady improvement over his three starting seasons in terms of accuracy, jumping from a 54.7% completion rate in 2015 to 56.2 (2016) and 60.4 (2017) with notable development as a touch passer, including on short passes to the flats, intermediate tosses down the seam and deep fades toward the pylon - critical throws in today's NFL.
Improved recognition of his secondary targets, showing greater patience to sidestep the rush and keep his eyes downfield rather than simply tucking and running. Despite questions about his frame and the number of hits absorbed, Jackson missed just one game (Syracuse, 2015) due to injury at Louisville. Publicly lauded by Petrino for developing into a more vocal leader in 2017. Voted a team captain in 2017. - Rob Rang 12/16/2017
WEAKNESSES For all of the gains Jackson has made as a passer, he remains quite raw in comparison to some of the other top quarterbacks in 2018, too often failing to show the anticipation to deliver passes before his receivers make their breaks. Further, while his accuracy has improved from a statistical standpoint, Jackson shows just average overall ball placement, currently lacking the consistency to "throw his receivers open" against tight coverage.
Too often he relies on his arm to deliver passes, throwing flat-footed or even falling backwards. As such, his passes sail slightly and force receivers to adjust, limiting run-after-the-catch potential. Possesses a relatively spindly build for quarterback with narrow shoulders and hips which limit the amount of "good weight" he will be able to add. -- Rob Rang 12/16/2017
COMPARES TO: Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton, Vikings. Though Jackson's cleanest comparison is undoubtedly to Vick, among the current Hall of Famers, Tarkenton's improvisational skills and big plan panache (372 career touchdowns include 32 runs) are most similar to Jackson's. Further, when the inevitable questions about Jackson's slim build arise, recall that Tarkenton - an 18-year veteran and nine-time Pro Bowler - measured in at just 6-0, 190 pounds.
IN OUR VIEW: Given their exceptional combination of raw athleticism and arm strength, it is easy to see why Jackson is so often compared to former No. 1 overall pick and 13-year NFL veteran Michael Vick. Like Vick, Jackson possesses the accuracy to deliver strikes from the pocket, albeit not necessarily with the consistency which coaches would prefer. What makes Jackson special, however, is his ability to extend the play - a factor all the more important in today's wide-open NFL.
Jackson is the only player in FBS history to rush for at least 1,500 yards and pass for at least 3,500 yards in a season. He has now done it twice (2016 and 2017). ... Jackson also entered the 50-50 club with 50 career touchdowns rushing and 50 career touchdowns passing, joining Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow as the only players in FBS history with career totals above 50 and 50. .
12/05/17 - 2017 ASSOCIATED PRESS ACC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Lamar Jackson, Louisville...Jackson leads the nation in total offense with 4,932 yards and is on pace to set ACC season and career records for total yards per game. He has been responsible for 116 career touchdowns, tying Clemson's Deshaun Watson (2014-16) for second on the ACC's all-time list. Jackson has thrown for 3,489 yards and 25 touchdowns this season, passing for over 300 yards six times in 2017. In three seasons at Louisville, Jackson ranks fourth in school history with 8,872 career passing yards, overtaking Miami's Jacory Harris (2008-11) for 18th on the ACC's career list. -
12/04/17 - 2017 WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD FINALIST: LAMAR JACKSON - LOUISVILLE - Junior - Quarterback - The 2016 Walter Camp Player of Year recipient, Lamar Jackson has accounted for 42 touchdowns (25 passing, 17 rushing) for the 8-4 Cardinals this season. He has thrown for 3,489 yards (241-for-399) and rushed for 1,443 yards. He passed 300 or more yards six times, and had nine 100-yard rushing efforts. He accounted for a season-high 525 yards of total offense (393 passing, 132 rushing) and six touchdowns in a win over North Carolina on Sept. 8. -
2016 Heisman Trophy winner ... became the youngest player ever to win the Heisman Trophy ... won the Davey O’Brien Award for the nation’s top quarterback ... also won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top football player ... voted the ACC Player and Offensive of the Year ... first offensive player to be named a finalist for the Lombardi Award ... set ACC records for the most rushing yards by a quarterback (1,571) and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (21) ... his rushing yards broke the school’s single-season rushing mark ... set a school record and equaled an ACC record by accounting for eight touchdowns (6 passing and two rushing) ... tied a school record with six touchdown throws ... passed for 286 yards and six touchdowns ... ran for 119 yards and a pair of scores in a 70-14 win over Charlotte ... set an ACC and school record with 610 yards of total offense ... recorded his first 400-yard passing game with 411 yards on 20-of-39 passing ... rushed for 199 yards, which was the second-highest of his career ... rushed for a 72-yard touchdown and hit James Quick with a 72-yard touchdown throw on the first play of the game against Syracuse ... rushed for 146 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in a win over nationally ranked Florida State ... acccounted for six touchdowns, including a career-best five passing scores ... threw for a career-high 417 yards ... ran for a pair of touchdowns ... found James Quick with a 71-yard touchdown strike versus Marshall ... totaled 457 yards of total offense against Clemson.
Passed for 295 yards and one score and rushed for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns ... completed 13-of-26 passes for 181 yards and one touchdown, while running for 144 yards and one score versus Duke ... threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 76 yards and one touchdown versus NC State ... connected with Jaylen Smith on a season-long 74-yard touchdown throw ... hit Jaylen Smith with a 29-yard touchdown pass in the final minute to beat Virginia ... threw for 361 yards and four touchdowns ... totaled seven touchdowns versus Boston College ... passed for 231 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns ... scored on a 69-yard touchdown run ... rushed for 153 yards and passed for 145 yards and one touchdown versus Wake Forest ... passed for 211 yards and one touchdown pass to Cole Hikutini versus Houston ... accounted for five scores, while setting a school record with his eighth 100-yard rushing game in a loss to Kentucky ... passed for 281 yards and three touchdowns ... tied the game at 38-38 with a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter ... finished as the school’s single-season rushing leader and recorded a school record eighth 100-yard running game with 1,538 yards and set an ACC record with his 21st rushing touchdown by a quarterback.
Received an award for the “Best Championship Performance” at the school’s Louie Awards ... finished second in the voting for the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year... named the ACC Rookie of the Week three times ... appeared in 12 games, making eight starts at the quarterback position ... did start as a running back in the backfield versus Auburn ... holds the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season and a career with 960 ... made collegiate debut against Auburn and had 100 yards passing along with 106 rushing for one touchdown ... scored on a 10-yard run... made his first start at quarterback versus Houston, going 17-of-27 for 168 yards and one touchdown, while tossing a pair of interceptions ... scored on a one-yard run ... recorded a career-long 73-yard run versus Samford ... set a Louisville record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback with 184 against Samford... became the third freshman in Louisville history to throw for over 300 yards after he tossed a career high 307 against Florida State in the 41-21 loss.
Tallied his first multi-touchdown game through the air against Florida State ... achieved his best completion percentage of the season against Wake Forest after throwing 19-for-26 (73.1 percent) through the air for 207 yards and two touchdowns ... broke off a 45-yard run in the second quarter against Virginia, his third rush of 40+ yards on the season... broke his previous record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in Louisville history when he rushed 17 times for 186 yards and two scores in the regular season finale against Kentucky ... named the Howard Schnellenberger MVP for his performance in the win over the Wildcats ... set the Music City Bowl record by rushing for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns versus Texas A&M ... became only the third quarterback in bowl history to rush and pass for 200 yards in a bowl game ... had a 61-yard touchdown run in the win over the Aggies ... named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Played for Rick Swain at Boynton Beach High School... 4-star prospect in the state of Florida… rated the nation’s No. 8 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 31 player in Florida, according to 247Sports.com... rated as the No. 30 player at his position nationally and No. 8 in the South Region by Scout.com… rated the Sun Sentinel’s No. 5 prospect in Palm Beach County... was named to the Class 6A Florida All-State first team as a utility player.
Capped off his standout high school football career by winning Palm Beach County’s top honor after being named the Lou Groza Awards High School Player of the Year during a banquet at the Kravis Center... became the first Boynton Beach player to win the award, which has been handed out annually since 1992... team finished 9-2 and advanced to the Class 6A regional quarterfinals... was also named to the Sun Sentinel’s preseason Super 11.
Rushed for 237 yards on 14 carries as part of a team high 606 rushing yards to lead Boynton Beach to a 64-29 victory over Lake Worth... scored on a diving 6-yard touchdown run with six seconds to play to win a 63-58 District 15-6A shootout... delivered passing for 346 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing for 146 yards and five touchdowns for Boynton Beach.
Played for the South squad in the 60th Annual Florida Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star Classic in Orlando... finished the 2014 season with 1,293 passing yards and 20 touchdowns, and 1,039 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns... passed for 1,740 yards and 25 touchdowns and ran for 1,401 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior... passed for seven touchdowns, including a run for four in two games of the season.
Son of Felicia Jones ... born 1/7/97... undecided major.
Draft Scout Player News
03/03/18 - 2018 NFL Combine, Saturday: Those questioning Lamar Jackson's passing skills were quieted Saturday with the live-armed Louisville quarterback enjoying a very solid showing. On game tapes, Jackson shows the velocity and touch needed at the next level. After Jackson spent much of his time operating out of the shotgun or throwing on the move at Louisville, however, scouts were eager to see if he looked just as natural and accurate when making three-, five- and seven-step drops. While not quite as impressive as Deshaun Watson's similar showing a year ago, Jackson showed good synchronizing his feet and throwing motion, resulting in good accuracy Saturday and probably solidifying his fate as a first-round pick ... at quarterback, not receiver. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftscout.com
02/28/18 - 2018 NFL Combine Quotes: Some have suggested that Lamar Jackson play receiver. What's your take on that? Is he definitely a quarterback prospect in your mind? "I think you probably want to try it there and see. He's pretty good. I would. I'd give that a whirl. I could handle that." Q: Just the suggestion that he switch positions. Thoughts on that? "I'm not much on that. I want to bring him in and let's exhaust that other thing that we know he's good at and see. I'm just saying in general, this is a general statement. Let's get him in and let him wing it a little bit and see how he does. We'll be able to fit some things in there I'm sure. - Andy Reid, Head Coach, Chiefs
02/27/18 - 2018 NFL Combine: Athleticism Key for these Prospects: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville...Everyone knows Jackson is an elite athlete, and his landing spot on draft day will depend on a team's comfort with his development as a passer. However, putting up silly numbers in the athletic testing won't hurt his chances. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/27/18 - 2018 NFL Combine: Prospects Who Need to Measure Up: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville...Jackson is expected to test well athletically, but maybe more importantly, what are his size measurements? Is he taller than 6-2? Does he tip the scales under or above 215 pounds? - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/27/18 - 2018 NFL Combine: Must-see Prospects per Position: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville, 6-2, 211, 4.42...Currently ranked 5th among QBs, 22nd overall and a 1st-round value...Considered a better receiver than quarterback prospect by some, Jackson will get his chance to silence critics next Sunday during the throwing session, when he is expected to compete alongside Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen and Mason Rudolph (among others) during the second QB workout -- each of whom completed a higher percentage of their passers than the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner. Scouts are always eager to see exceptional athletes like Jackson compete but more than important than his velocity or 40-yard dash time will be his footwork on five- and seven-step drops, as well as the football IQ he demonstrates during private meetings with teams. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com