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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

NFL coach: Lamar Jackson will not be able to play QB in league

Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson is one of the biggest mystery prospects heading into the 2018 NFL Draft. There are no questions about the former Louisville star’s athletic ability, but some talent evaluators think he will struggle to play quarterback at the NFL level. One coach insists it is not going to happen.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network spoke with several NFL executives and coaches who have studied Jackson, and one feels the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner has no shot of making it as a QB in the NFL.

“He’s an awesome athlete. He will not be able to play (quarterback) in this league, mark my words,” an anonymous offensive coordinator said. “When he throws, he hopes.”

Others are a bit higher on Jackson and believe he simply wasn’t challenged enough in Louisville’s offense.

“Lamar’s got good aptitude. He just wasn’t given that responsibility,” a second OC told Pelissero. “There’s a difference between a guy who can’t do it and a guy who never was asked to do it, but can learn. He can learn.”

“They had a progression-based offense. You can see it. But then, when you talk to him, he can’t verbalize it for you. If you’ve got him really honed in on a game plan, I think he’d be able to do whatever you need to do,” a quarterbacks coach who spent time with Jackson said. “He has experience with real route concepts and making reads. You see him make good decisions. He throws the ball fine. I think accuracy is more of an issue for Josh Allen than it is for Lamar. He’s a freak. He’s the best athlete on the field every game he plays.”

True passers tend to succeed more in the NFL, as QBs who rely just as much on running as they do throwing have a difficult time staying healthy. That is obviously a major concern with Jackson, but we have heard plenty of positive reports about the impression he is making on NFL teams.

If this year’s draft wasn’t considered so loaded at the QB position, Jackson would likely be a lock to go in the early part of the first round. As it stands now, he could really be picked anywhere. No one will be shocked if it’s within the first 15-20 selections.

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