Even after one of the most brilliant seasons put together by a college quarterback, Lamar Jackson came into this season over looked as both a Heisman repeat, and as an NFL quarterback.
Through two weeks, Jackson has come out stronger than ever, and may put up even better numbers than he did a year ago. Through two weeks, the numbers are ridiculous for Jackson after he carved up North Carolina for six total touchdowns and over 600 yards of total offense. With no turnovers and eight touchdowns, Jackson has established himself once again as the frontrunner for the Heisman early on.
In the first two victories of the year, Jackson has gone for almost 400 yards and has rushed for over 100 yards, providing yet more evidence that he is an absolute matchup nightmare at quarterback. His speed and agility make him almost impossible to stop when he’s in the open field, and makes him a ghost to defensive linemen looking to get a shot at him.
When throwing, Jackson has always had a strong arm, but the touch on the deep balls has been outstanding. Jackson also seems to trust his offensive line and receivers more than he did last year. Another year in Bobby Petrino’s offense doesn’t hurt either.
But what Jackson has really improved on is the mental aspect of the game and showing that he’s can be a true quarterback in the NFL.
At times a year ago, Jackson would see his primary receiver covered and immediately tuck it and run. This year, the game seems slower for him, which is scary. He’s going through his reads and has learned to step up in the pocket, instead of bailing out and putting himself at risk. His touchdown to Jaylen Smith on Saturday is a perfect example of Jackson’s maturity and development. That development has allowed him to almost hit 400 yards in back to back weeks, as well as averaging over nine yards a completion, while completing 64.7% of his throws. Jackson also has a ridiculous quarterback rating of 160.3.
When Jackson has tucked it, he’s been elusive as ever and is still as dangerous as any running back or wide receiver in the open field. With his three rushing touchdowns against North Carolina, Jackson showed off the speed and shiftiness time and time again.
Jackson was written off as both a Heisman candidate and an NFL prospect heading into his junior season, but with two elite games under his belt so far, he’s moved to the forefront of the Heisman race, and is proving himself to be an NFL caliber quarterback. With a big time matchup against Clemson looming, Jackson has a chance to have yet another Heisman moment, and further prove he belongs in the NFL.
Cover Photo via ElevenWarriors