SouthernPigskin Article:  “I Was Right About Lamar”
Posted: 18 December 2018 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This is an interesting Article…

I Was Right About Lamar
By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com


Lamar Jackson is the best college football player ever. That was a thing I wrote last season. Since then, my argument has only gotten stronger.

Not the greatest player ever. That carries a different connotation, with the implication of having won championships, but as far as pure talent and production, he is in a class all his own.

Perhaps Cam Newton could throw his name in the hat among signal callers, but that’s it. It could be Barry Sanders or Bo Jackson or Herschel Walker. There are a few defenders that are interesting options. However, none of the non-quarterbacks were as impactful, as valuable as Jackson, and though both of those terms are different than “best”, they probably matter when you’re splitting hairs this thin.

He became the third player in FBS history to both rush and throw for at least 50 touchdowns.

Despite only being the full-time starter for two years, he finished his career with the most total yards of any power five junior ever, and in the top 25, among all players, for total offense and touchdowns responsible for.

In his two starts against Clemson, who easily had one of the ten best defenses in college football in 2016 and probably the best last year, he compiled 838 yards, and six touchdowns.

His lowest offensive yardage total of the 2017 season was 333, against Kent State, which he compiled on all of 30 plays.

He averaged over 30 yards of offense per game more than his closest competitor, as a junior, and totaled more than Sam Darnold and Saquon Barkley combined.

He became the first player to ever throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.

He created the 3,500 passing yard, 1,500 rushing yard club as a sophomore and then followed it up by originating the evermore exclusive 3,600-1,600 club.
The point is, Lamar Jackson left Louisville with as compelling a case as any of them and what transpired in the immediate aftermath of his departure has done nothing but bolster his legend.

Louisville had probably one of the ten best offenses in college football in 2017. It finished in the top 20 in FEI, the top 15 in non-garbage time points per drive, and the top five in S&P+.

Then Jackson left, but four of the five starters on the offensive line and his top three receivers were back. It would have been unreasonable to expect the unit to get better, but there was evidence that it wouldn’t suffer much of a regression. Instead, it fell to 118th, 126th, and 112th, respectively, in each of the aforementioned metrics.

Louisville scored 28 offensive touchdowns this entire year. Jackson was personally responsible for 28 touchdowns in the first five games alone of his 2016 Heisman campaign.

I also wrote that he should have been the first quarterback taken in 2018 NFL Draft, based only on his merits as a passer.

Remember when four guys went ahead of him? Weird.

Remember when people thought he should move to wide receiver? So weird.

Remember when Josh Allen was drafted 25 spots ahead of him because, well I’m not sure actually… because he was tall I suppose? So, so weird.

And did you know that while Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson have similar NFL rushing stats, almost all of Jackson’s have come on designed runs—you know, because he tries to stay in the pocket and simply uses his athleticism to extend plays and give his receivers a chance to uncover—whereas Allen’s are predominantly on scrambles despite playing behind one of the best pass blocking offensive lines in the league, based on average time to throw? So, so, so, weird.

No one is campaigning for Allen to move to tight end or whatever, though. It’s all very weird, folks.

Among the five first round rookie quarterbacks, Jackson is second in DVOA, DYAR, touchdown rate, interception rate, adjusted yards per attempt, QBR, and passer rating.

In fairness, Baker Mayfield has clearly been the best rookie quarterback, he’s first among the rookies in all of those metrics, but Jackson has been number two, no matter how you slice it. It is worth noting, however, that while Mayfield has been hot for the past month and change, his first five starts were largely underwhelming. His and Jackson’s first five starts are comparatively similar from an efficiency standpoint. The former Oklahoma standout has gotten better with experience. There’s no reason to expect anything different from the B.O.A.T.

Hopefully this will begin to change the way we think about quarterbacks as draft prospects. Frankly, the fact that evaluations at the game’s most important position are still so retrograde is embarrassing. It is, in some ways fitting, I suppose. The NFL is still like a decade behind college football schematically, save a handful of “progressive” offenses. It’s no coincidence that those “innovative” playcallers lead the most effective attacks in the league. (I use air quotes around progressive and innovative because it’s still just adapting the things that good college offenses have been doing forever)

Maybe someday all 32 franchises will realize that it might just be better to be good at football than to be big and strong. It’s probably a pipe dream, but a man can hope can’t he?

Lamar Jackson isn’t the future of the sport because he’s a one-of-a-kind player. I had a conversation with a co-worker last year about whether we would see Baker Mayfield’s passer rating record broken or Jackson’s 3,500-1,500 club joined first. Well, Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa both have better passer ratings right now than Mayfield did. No one even came close to doing what Jackson did.

However, he could, nay should, serve as motivation for NFL decision makers to reevaluate the way they evaluate. The

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Posted: 18 December 2018 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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He lost me after this:

Lamar Jackson is the best college football player ever. That was a thing I wrote last season. Since then, my argument has only gotten stronger.


Ever?  Seriously?  I can rattle of 10 guys off the top of my head that were better college football players than Lamar Jackson. 

Lamar Jackson will be out of the NFL within 5 years due to injury unfortunately.

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Posted: 18 December 2018 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Lots of problems here.
LJ is not accurate enough (college or pro). 
A lot of his college stats were against weak opponents, though he did do well against Clemson.  Really he made his name on beating a 9-3 FSU that started #2 in preseason rankings. 
They constantly ran up the score on teams where Clemson would switch to a run heavy offense to run the clock. 
LJ’s best win in the NFL is against a 6-8 Cincy during a 1-5 streak since their BYE week, that win was over a pathetic Oakland. 
LJ will not hold up in the NFL with his current pass:run ratio (73:114).  Even Cam has had issues staying healthy and he is MUCH bigger and stronger than LJ. 

I don’t keep up with the NFL enough to know all the OL rankings but I believe Baltimore is decent.  Guys like Luck and Watson have been very good despite playing behind terrible OL’s.  Both have had injury issues because of their OL.  LJ’s injuries will be more self induced. 

I will not argue against him being a fantastic athlete but I wouldn’t try to make him my franchise QB.  Too much risk.  Also we need to see how defense adjust for him.  No defense has had any reasonable amount of time to prep for him so far.  It’s late in the season and isn’t Flacco healthy and available to come in any time?  LJ is one bad half away from potentially never seeing the field again. 

I would take him as a WR kinda like Braxton Miller.

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2016 & 2018 National Champions

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Posted: 18 December 2018 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m not sure this season has helped develop 2020 Lamar Jackson, but credit Baltimore for maximizing what he does well right now to save a season that appeared lost six weeks ago.

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God Bless Saturday. @MattSmithCFB

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Posted: 18 December 2018 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I want to expand on the writers comment about the Clemson Games:

In his two starts against Clemson, who easily had one of the ten best defenses in college football in 2016 and probably the best last year, he compiled 838 yards, and six touchdowns.


One stat that has always been left out of LJ’s “greatness” is his Sacks..In the 2016 Clemson Game he was sacked 5 times. In 2017 LJ was sacked 5 more times.

Oh Yeah…He lost both games.

In 2016, Lamar Jackson lead the nation in sacks in his Heisman years while also losing his last 3 games to Houston, Kentucky and LSU in the bowl.

I still can’t believe there are people out there placing LJ on such a pedestal.  Just because he ran up a bunch of stats doesn’t mean a thing.  In the ACC alone, are you telling me LJ is better than Russell Wilson, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston,Michael Vick, Charlie Ward?  I purposely didn’t include Tajh Boyd or Deshaun Watson which were also better than LJ..

Then when you get in the GOAT of college football LJ is nowhere close when you open all positions to that title. 

Matt, what the heck are you feeding these people?

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Posted: 18 December 2018 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I also wrote that he should have been the first quarterback taken in 2018 NFL Draft, based only on his merits as a passer.

Remember when four guys went ahead of him? Weird.

In fairness, Baker Mayfield has clearly been the best rookie quarterback, he’s first among the rookies in all of those metrics, but Jackson has been number two, no matter how you slice it. It is worth noting, however, that while Mayfield has been hot for the past month and change, his first five starts were largely underwhelming. His and Jackson’s first five starts are comparatively similar from an efficiency standpoint. The former Oklahoma standout has gotten better with experience. There’s no reason to expect anything different from the B.O.A.T.

Sooooooo its not weird then.  Because clearly Baker should of been #1 off the board like he was after seeing him perform.

LJ couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn in college and since you bring up rushing stats so much I suspect it hasn’t changed much.  Do you honestly think he could do what Mayfield is doing with the Browns if spots were switched?  Because I don’t.  If Flacco was not in Baltimore, would Lamar REALLY be carrying them further than they are now?  Be honest with yourself.  He wouldn’t.

He played below average competition, he played all 4 qts of games instead of being pulled, he constantly threw the ball up for grabs being the below average passer he is, and took a lot of sacks despite his so called ability as a scrambler.

CU_Tigers4life - 18 December 2018 01:39 PM

I still can’t believe there are people out there placing LJ on such a pedestal.  Just because he ran up a bunch of stats doesn’t mean a thing.  In the ACC alone, are you telling me LJ is better than Russell Wilson, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston,Michael Vick, Charlie Ward?  I purposely didn’t include Tajh Boyd or Deshaun Watson which were also better than LJ..

This is what makes me laugh.  Does this guy live in Louisville?

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Posted: 19 December 2018 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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He played below average competition, he played all 4 qts of games instead of being pulled, he constantly threw the ball up for grabs being the below average passer he is, and took a lot of sacks despite his so called ability as a scrambler.

Because of that, Louisville failed to develop a backup in those blowout games.  Petrino should have sat LJ in the mid-third Qtr in most of those games.  Well, Petrino paid for his one-trick pony and it ultimately cost him his job…but perhaps that was his endgame all along…Treat LJ like a rented mule and when the Cards implode, he gets fired and receives a huge buyout to retire on.

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Posted: 19 December 2018 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Let’s not forget what a sham his heisman is.

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