There’s no question Louisville QB Lamar Jackson is an exciting player with a spectacular blend of athleticism and play-making ability. On the other hand, in the wake of his decision not to run the 40 at his pro day Thursday — coming on the heels of skipping it at the combine — there are other questions.
Just how fast is Jackson? And also, how advanced is he regarding reading defenses, making decisions and directing a modern NFL defense? There are reports suggesting he’s been hard to reach and evasive with NFL teams.
But is all of this just media hype? Will any of it have any real impact on his draft standing? We asked several scouts and this is what they had to say.
- “Last I heard he had just ‘risen’ into the first round, so I find it interesting that we are already talking about him potentially ‘dropping out.’ I think his grade should mostly be what it was on December 1. The area scouts should know best.”
- “He’s probably not running a 40 because he doesn’t want to run fast and people think he’s a WR automatically. But he also probably hasn’t prepared for everything else.”
- “(He won’t slip in the draft) due to 40. (i) can’t imagine any team questions his speed or (athletic ability). He’s too dynamic, (and) some team will take him in (the) 1st. (Tim) Tebow and (Johnny) Manziel went in (the) 1st.”
- “Definitely think all of those things have and will affect his draft status. Should’ve had a legitimate QB guy and organized workout. Should communicate better with teams…he and his mom. And Lamar should never make apologies for his speed and athleticism. Adds to the ‘wow factor’ that is Lamar.”
- “His build and style of play make him a long ways from being a sure thing at QB. There (have) not been 4 QBs drafted in the first round since 2012. Last time 5 QBs in first round was ‘99. I think he will be drafted first as a QB, but first-round QB?”
Want more feedback from NFL scouts? We’ve got plenty of it. In fact, some of the responses we got from our friends in the business was as nuanced and lengthy as any question we’ve posed in the past.
You can read what we heard from people across the league in today’s Friday Wrap. As you know, it’s free, and it’s read by people across the NFL (agents, scouts and executives, financial advisors, trainers, the works) every week, and if you care about the game inside the game, you should, too. Sign up here. You won’t be sorry.