In the countdown to the 2018 National Football League Draft, a controversy emerged when some NFL sources claimed that Lamar Jackson would have more success in the pro game as a wide receiver rather than a quarterback.
As the Inquisitr has noted, questions focused on whether the NCAA star could make a smooth transition to the NFL after a standout college career.
For one thing, running quarterbacks are generally in more danger of injury and miss more playing time than conventional pocket passers who receive additional protection from linemen.
Jackson, who played three years at the University of Louisville where he was a unanimous All-American selection, won the 2016 Heisman Trophy — as the most outstanding player in college football — along with many other honors.
The Baltimore Ravens traded multiple draft picks to the Philadelphia Eagles to move up and obtain the 32nd and last pick of the first round to select Jackson, who appears to be the team’s quarterback of the future.
In transitioning from the Cardinals to the Ravens, Jackson, who will play behind veteran Joe Flacco in the final year of his contract, has already promised that he will take the Ravens to the Super Bowl. The Ravens have apparently rejected the possibility that Jackson will ever take the field as a wide receiver and instead will exclusively be a signal caller. Flacco helped lead the Ravens to victory in the 2013 Super Bowl.
“It’s worth noting that Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was running the Eagles’ offense when [Michael] Vick posted a career year in 2010,” NFL.com explained, implying that Mornhinweg could do the same next season for the rookie even if he doesn’t take over as the starter right away.
The Ravens also signed Robert Griffin III (RG3), another former Heisman-winning quarterback.
Whitlock Weighs In on the “Wrong Hire”
Against the backdrop of Lamar Jackson’s role in the NFL taking on racial implications in some precincts, sports journalist Jason Whitlock claimed in a TV monologue that the Louisville star landing with the Ravens was a really bad idea as a practical matter.
The co-host of FS1’s Speak for Yourself, Whitlock is well known for criticizing the Twitter-influenced sports media’s tendency to bring social justice issues into coverage of competitive athletics. His analysis of the Jackson pick also mocked the recent pre-game ceremonies featuring rapper Meek Mill at the NBA Philadelphia 76ers playoff game.
“The absolute wrong team drafted Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. That’s the story from day one of the NFL Draft the media won’t tell you…The move was celebrated on TV and across the Internet as if ‘civil rights icon’ Meek Mill had been released from prison again…Jackson’s selection was treated like a feel-good moment, like a sick kid scoring a touchdown at a college spring game. On a night when 63 percent of the players would be black or brown, Jackson’s selection at 32 was framed as a step toward racial justice. How? Why?…You’ve been had, you’ve been took, you’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray…”
Whitlock continued that NFL teams have previously picked African-American quarterbacks in the first round, including Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton.
“The narrative that the NFL is seething with racial animus and unfairness is hogwash. It’s fake news propagated by people who want to destroy football. And as it relates to Lamar Jackson, it’s a narrative that conceals the fact that that Ravens were quite possibly the worst team to select him. Ozzie Newsome is on his way out after this season, which means Baltimore’s new boss Eric DeCosta can easily distance himself from Lamar Jackson…new bosses like to hire their own people…”
Jason Whitlock also called attention to the fact that after missing the playoffs for the past three years, head coach John Harbaugh appears to be on thin ice with the Ravens owner. The FS1 host also insisted that the New England Patriots, who “max out their QBs,” or the New Orleans Saints or the Pittsburgh Steelers would have been a better fit for Lamar Jackson.
“By the end of this season, Lamar Jackson will have a new general manager and could have a new head coach…two new bosses is twice as bad as one new boss. But when social media is leading you around by foolishly stoking your racial emotions, you often miss what’s logically obvious. Going in the first round is irrelevant to Lamar Jackson’s success. Landing with the right franchise should have been the priority…Jackson supporters should have been rooting for where far more than when.
Earlier this month, after news broke that the Seattle Seahawks postponed a planned workout for Colin Kaepernick, Jason Whitlock similarly admonished outside influencers in the media, rather than the ex-49ers quarterback himself, for the canceled Seahawks visit.
In the clip below, watch Jason Whitlock address the Baltimore Ravens selection of Lamar Jackson on Speak for Yourself and draw your own conclusions.