Lamar Jackson will not be the first quarterback drafted, but where could he land come the NFL Draft?
Once Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield are off the board, Lamar Jackson will be the quarterback to watch in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, who had a better season by most measures in 2017, will be a first-round pick barring something unforeseen.
But where could Jackson land?
There has been some speculation that teams have trouble contacting Jackson to line up pre-draft visits, since he is going without an agent and his mom is essentially acting in that role. But he worked out for the Houston Texans prior to his Pro Day, met with the Los Angeles Chargers right after his Pro Day workout and has visited or worked out for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints more recently.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has tabbed Jackson as an option for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as the successor to Ben Roethlisberger.
Then there’s this little nugget, about another notable succession plan, from Charles Robinson of Yahoo!.
By acquiring the 23rd overall pick in the first round in exchange for wideout Brandin Cooks (and already holding the 31st pick), the Patriots have given themselves flexibility for a quarterback selection in this month’s draft. And Jackson could emerge as New England’s top option for two key reasons: Thanks to an inside pipeline, Patriots coach Bill Belichick knows virtually everything he can about Jackson; and the Louisville star already knows plenty about the base concepts of New England’s offense.
There has been some buzz attaching the Patriots to Rosen, and the Cooks trade gave them the ability to trade up if they want to. But Jackson is far more likely to be available at No. 23 overall, even with a lot of recent mock drafts tying the Arizona Cardinals to him at No. 15.
It’s refreshing to talk about where Jackson will go and how quickly he may see the field, with the ridiculous, baseless narrative about switching to wide receiver put totally to bed.