The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner has spoken: Lamar Jackson will pursue his professional career as a quarterback.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, some NFL teams inquired about whether or not Jackson wouldn't mind performing workouts with the wide receivers. There was also speculation into Jackson switching positions going forward possibly being an option for him.
In an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson, Jackson vehemently denied the requests and said "I'm a quarterback. That's all I have ever been." He smiled and laughed afterwards, which eluded to the fact that he planned on standing his ground on this issue regardless.
One of the main reasons that some NFL scouts want to see him at other positions is his natural athleticism and dynamic play-making abilities. Jackson threw for 3,660 yards this past season, and rushed for 1,601 yards to add to the totals (which is more than some running backs). He is often labeled a "running quarterback" because of his inclination to scramble outside the pocket when the play breaks down, but it is usually what Louisville needed him to do to win.
However, in today's NFL, this can be quite a valuable asset. Having a quarterback that is multi-dimensional in both passing and running will give the defense a terrible time trying to stop you. QBs like Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and even Aaron Rodgers possess these skills and are lauded for them.
So what's the hold up with Lamar Jackson? Well, he's considered thin at 216 pounds. Also, most of his superstar plays were outside of the pocket, and fewer were actual functioning pass plays. Even still, Jackson has made tremendous progress since his freshman year, and he is by far a better passer than when he started. There will be a team that gives him a chance, just from his dynamic abilities alone.
By Joshua Hamer - Contributing Sports Writer