Lamar Jackson may be a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and a likely first-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Bill Polian still believes Jackson should switch to wide receiver.
The former Hall of Fame Colts executive doubled-down on his previous assessment, claiming the former Louisville quarterback is too short and inaccurate to succeed in the NFL as a quarterback.
“Short and a little bit slight,” Polian said of Jackson on ESPN’s Golic and Wingo Monday. “And clearly, clearly not the thrower that the other guys are. The accuracy isn’t there.”
While Jackson is no Manute Bol, at 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, he is around the league average in terms of height. In fact, Jackson is three inches taller than Baker Mayfield, who Polian praised after the Senior Bowl practices. Polian also previously gushed over Johnny Manziel, who is 5-foot-11 3/4, comparing him to former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly ahead of the 2014 draft.
While Jackson is far from the most accurate passer, from a statistical standpoint he isn’t as far off from the rest of the likely first-round quarterbacks as Polian asserts.
Although Jackson completed just 59.1% of his passes, that figure was actually higher than Wyoming’s Josh Alllen (56.3%), who is viewed as a likely top-5 pick. Jackson also finished with a 146.6 passer efficiency rating — substantially better than Allen (127.8) and just a hair behind USC’s Sam Darnold (148.1) and UCLA’s Josh Rosen (147.0).
Among Allen, Darnold, Rosen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Jackson also had the highest percentage of his passes dropped by his receivers, with 12.04%, nearly doubled that of Darnold, according to Pro Football Focus.
Although Polian criticized Jackson as a passer, he believes he could theoretically make a smooth transition to becoming a dominant receiver, comparing him to the likes of Antonio Brown and Julio Jones.
“Exceptional athlete, exceptional ability to make you miss, exceptional acceleration, exceptional instinct with the ball in his hand and that’s rare for wide receivers. That’s [Antonio Brown], and who else? Name me another one, Julio [Jones is] not even like that.”
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