Looking ahead to the 2018 quarterback class


With Blake Bortles officially out of chances, the Jaguars must look ahead to the 2018 QB class.

The Jaguars sit at 3-2 after the game in Pittsburgh against the Steelers, the Jaguars enjoyed an utterly dominant performance from the defense and a career game from Leonard Fournette to propel them to a 30-9 victory on the road.

Nathaniel Hackett took the ball out of Blake Bortles hands almost entirely, even calling 12 straight running plays at one point. By minimizing the decisions Bortles had to make, the chance for error was diminished. Bortles finished with a line of 8-14 with 95 yards passing and one interception that was actually not his fault. The fact that the offensive coordinator only felt comfortable calling 14 pass plays throughout the game speaks volumes about the level of confidence in Bortles.

The Jaguars simply must spend a high draft pick on a quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft. Continuing with Black and Teal’s scouting series, let’s take a look at another one of the signal callers available in next year’s draft, Lamar Jackson.

Lamar Jackson is one of the most recognizable and electrifying players in college football and certainly one of the more intriguing prospects in this year’s draft.

How will he translate to the NFL?

LOUISVILLE, KY – SEPTEMBER 30: Lamar Jackson /

Lamar Jackson: 6’3″, 211


Perhaps what Jackson is most known for is his explosive running ability. The reigning Heisman winner rushed for over 1500 yards and added 21 rushing touchdowns to his stellar passing numbers. He has impressive speed, something to be expected of someone who was actually recruited by most schools as a wide receiver out of high school. His athleticism is off the charts, and he will likely test very well at the NFL combine and Louisville’s pro day. However, what Jackson does not get enough credit for is his passing ability. He has made visible improvements from his Heisman season to the current season in his decision making and throwing. Jackson has a strong arm and excels throwing across the middle of the field, at all levels. He has shown the ability to read defenses and throw on the run as well. He is confident in himself, opting to go to Louisville over a bigger school in order to give himself a chance to play QB in college. Jackson has generally performed well in big games, with this year’s showdown against Clemson being an outlier.


The biggest knock on Jackson that will be talked about throughout the draft process is his slight frame. He sits at just 211 pounds and has a slight frame. He will face questions about the rigors of a 16 game NFL season until he shows that he can add and keep on weight, which should come once he reaches an NFL weight program. While Jackson excels at throwing the ball across the middle, he struggles to throw the ball on the boundaries, struggling to throw a tight, precise ball when being challenged by the sideline. Jackson also has shown a tendency to flee a clean pocket with little pressure in favor of throwing a ball on the run or taking off for a run. While he may be able to get away with these things in college, the speed of the NFL is an entirely different monster. Jackson must be disciplined in his running when he reaches the next level. Especially with his small frame, running when it’s unnecessary could lead to a greater risk of injury.

Pro Comp:

Many have linked Lamar Jackson to another former Louisville quarterback that was undersized coming out of college, Teddy Bridgewater. Jackson’s running ability presents a whole other element to his game that Bridgewater did not. While it is a huge comparison, Jackson is very similar to former NFL great Michael Vick. I believe this is the most accurate comparison at this point, when comparing the two college legends.

In Summary:

Lamar Jackson is one of the more intriguing quarterback prospects of the last few years. If he can add on a good amount of healthy weight and improve his boundary passing, there’s no reason to believe that someone with as much talent as Jackson could succeed in the NFL. The Jaguars have shown this season that they have the ability to win games despite stellar quarterback play, which just might be the patience Jackson needs as he develops.