Last season, the Baltimore Ravens had one of the dullest offenses in the NFL. Sometime very soon, that is going to change.
The Baltimore Ravens, in general manager Ozzie Newsome’s final draft, made one of the most exciting picks of the first round when he traded up to the 32nd pick to draft Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson, the electric 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, will be a fun playmaker for Baltimore whenever he takes over for Joe Flacco.
And Jackson brings some confidence too.
“They’re going to get a Super Bowl out of me,” Jackson told Deion Sanders on NFL Network minutes after the pick. “Believe that. Believe that.”
Moving back up into the first round in a trade was smart for the Ravens. First-round picks have a fifth-year option on their rookie deals. Moving up to take Jackson at No. 32 allows the Ravens another year of cost control with their new quarterback.
Jackson almost sat in the green room the entire first round without hearing his name called. Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, was one of the most dynamic players in college football and one of the most debated players in this draft. It was speculated early in the process by ESPN analyst and former NFL general manager Bill Polian that he would be better suited moving to receiver. That was ridiculous, and Jackson instantly shot down that possibility, but it framed the entire debate on Jackson. Jackson is a great runner, but also a better pocket quarterback than he got credit for.
Jackson told NFL Network that he didn’t mind the wait.
“I’m happy to be a Raven,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t even matter.”
It will be an interesting dynamic in Baltimore because the Ravens still have Flacco, who helped the franchise win a Super Bowl ring. But Flacco’s play has been subpar for a few years, and it’s probably time for a change in Baltimore. It will be curious when the torch is passed. When it is, the Ravens’ offense will change dramatically to suit the athletic Jackson, after years of having Flacco anchored to the pocket.
The Ravens were not a lot of fun to watch last season, with an offense that seemed stuck in low gear. When Jackson gets his shot, that won’t be the case anymore.
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