With the 2018 NFL Draft quickly approaching the information and misinformation is fast approaching.
One thing we know for sure, the Arizona Cardinals, despite addressing the quarterback position in free agency, will be shopping for quarterbacks as well.
That could be problem for them, like last year.
The top four, or at least perceived top four passers look like they will likely be going in the top 10-12 picks, leaving the Arizona Cardinals to sort through the “second tier” of quarterbacks.
That may actually be okay for the Arizona Cardinals.
Sitting at 15, with little in the way of resources to move up, without mortgaging the next two drafts, the Cardinals are in a spot where they could take Lamar Jackson.
Jackson is one of the most dynamic and explosive athletes to come out of college in... years and his ability to win in the passing game in Louisville’s spread west coast offense and in the rushing game, he was sixth in the nation in rushing, makes him a dream for an innovative offensive coordinator.
The thing is, he's true dual threat and not in the way many fans assume. Jackson is a threat running the ball on designed runs, not on scrambling, not on bailing from clean pockets, but instead on just getting out in the running game.
Only 27 percent of Lamar Jackson's career rushing yards came on scrambles.— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) March 21, 2018
73 percent came through the designed running game.
He was not just dropping back and running around
Passing yds 9,018
Scramble yds 1,286
Designed rush yds 3,520
Jackson would be a weapon unlike anything the Cardinals have had.
He would also get to sit and marinate behind a very good veteran quarterback in Sam Bradford, who has done a nice job helping younger quarterbacks.
They also have Mike Glennon, who is the unquestioned backup for the Cardinals heading into the season, meaning if Bradford is to get hurt, they don't have to throw Jackson out there.
More than that, Jackson is a savant on third downs. (All numbers courtesy of Justin Higdon and cover draft eligible QB’s only)
Jackson ranked fourth out of draft eligible quarterbacks in third down conversions, converting 43.6% (Mason Rudolph, Riley Ferguson, Logan Woodside ahead of him). Moreover, on third and seven plus, Jackson was nails, converting on 40% of plays (Nick Stevens and Rudolph ahead of him), tied for third in the nation.
In the redzone, he has a 14:1 touchdown to interception ratio his final year, and the Louisville Cardinals scored touchdowns on 30% of drives, fifth in the class (Baker Mayfield (41.4%), Matt Linehan (34.4%), Austin Allen (30.8%) and Sam Darnold (30.6%) ahead of him).
Yes, you can point to the career completion percentage for questions, but what you cannot do is label him as a one read and run type, you cannot label him as a guy who doesn’t convert in pressure situations or a guy who can carry his team.
There are few who do it as well as Jackson in clutch situations.