With the 32nd and last pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson went to the Baltimore Ravens, after the team swung a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles to move back into the first round. Despite winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016 and regularly being mentioned among the top draft prospects of this year’s class, there have been many questions and concerns regarding his game, and whether he could make a smooth transition to the NFL after a standout college career. However, it appears that the young signal-caller isn’t lacking in confidence as a would-be NFL rookie who has yet to play a down in the pros, as he’s excited to be in Baltimore, and eager to lead the Ravens back to championship glory at the Super Bowl.
As noted by Bleacher Report, Jackson’s comments were made on Thursday evening, not long after he was chosen by the Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft. Speaking to NFL Network analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, Lamar Jackson promised that the Ravens are “going to get a Super Bowl” out of him. Not long after, the Baltimore Ravens tweeted a seven-second clip of their newest quarterback, where he said that he’s “happy to be here,” and that he “can’t wait to get to Baltimore.”
Though Lamar Jackson is joining the Ravens as a promising prospect who could be an “exciting playmaker” with his athleticism and arm strength, ESPN stressed that there’s still a very good chance the rookie out of Louisville will be sitting behind veteran Joe Flacco, who helped lead Baltimore to its last Super Bowl win in 2013. This was confirmed by Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who described Jackson as a “great” quarterback, but reaffirmed that Flacco will likely remain the starter in Baltimore for the meantime.
“Lamar is going to have a great chance to develop,” said Harbaugh.
“When you get to this stage in a quarterback’s career, you’ve seen done in New England and you’ve seen done in a lot of places. This doesn’t really change things in a sense that we’re going to go with Joe and he’s going to roll.”
Additionally, Harbaugh told ESPN that he doesn’t believe Jackson is a “hybrid” player who might be better playing off wide receiver due to his speed. He emphasized that Jackson is a “quarterback through and through,” and a “playmaker” who could change the game when he has the ball in his hands.
Lamar Jackson was selected by the Baltimore Ravens after the team traded its second- and fourth-round picks for 2018 and its second-round pick for next year’s draft to the Philadelphia Eagles, who surrendered the 32nd overall pick and a fourth-round pick. Aside from returning starter Flacco, who will be entering the final year of his contract this season, Jackson will also be competing for playing time against another former Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III, who was signed by the Ravens earlier this month after sitting out the entire 2017 NFL season as a free agent.