Is Lamar Jackson’s NFL Ceiling Michael Vick?
Much has been said in regards to Lamar Jackson and his NFL potential. The majority saying that his ceiling is Michael Vick. Is that accurate?
Let’s hope not! Ouch… That sounds harsh. But the ideal and the notion that Michael Vick was an outstanding and Hall of Fame QB is simply not true. At least according to all the years that I watched him closely as an NFL QB.
He certainly was a fun guy to watch and a guy that helped people win a lot of Fantasy Football Trophies and Madden Tournaments. But Michael Vick was injured a lot more than he played and had relatively few “good” years.
Why Lamar Jackson “CAN” Be Better
I’m not saying that Lamar Jackson will be better than Michael Vick, but I believe he certainly can. One of the knocks on Michael Vick, in fact, he even admitted it, is that he rarely watched film. He admittedly wasn’t one of the hardest workers and didn’t commit to his craft nearly as much as he could have. This certainly limited his ceiling and potential as an NFL QB. He got by almost solely on his physical accolades and abilities.
Lamar Jackson is one of the hardest working guys on the team and all signs point to the fact that he WANTS to be great. That’s saying something. Especially when you combine that with the fact that he has the physical abilities that Vick had, such as the athleticism and pure arm strength.
The concern with Lamar Jackson is “can he win in the pocket?” That remains to be seen, but he has shown improvement in his couple of seasons with the Tigers in that regard. His in-pocket accuracy is going to be a concern for many NFL teams, as is his lack of bulk and weight on his wiry frame.
Jackson is a much more refined passer of the football than both Cam Newton and Michael Vick when they were coming out. While possessing similarly strong arms, Jackson shows better touch and in the pocket accuracy than both. He shows the ability to make the tight window throws and squeeze the ball with excellent ball speed.
The impressive thing about Jackson is he has one of the worst offensive lines in college football and continues to have success and win some huge games, often times taking the team on his back. Jackson is one of the toughest kids you’ll ever watch. Despite his smaller and leaner physique, Jackson gets up time in and time out. Especially after tacklers smack him around and hit him on the chin.
Give Him Time
The biggest thing with Lamar Jackson is going to be time. Can he put on weight and strength on his frame without losing his athleticism and playmaking abilities?
We know Jackson is one of the most athletic QB’s we’ve ever seen. However, he needs to prove he can do it in other ways at the next level.
He obviously has ways to go with his footwork. Simply locking out his front leg and not always setting his feet. Additionally, he will need to continue to improve in his ability to win from within the pocket with his arm. But I’m convinced he can do it, and he will. Similarly to Deshaun Watson, I think Jackson can be a really, really good QB. He isn’t quite Vick yet, but I think he can be better. CAN be.