When the Baltimore Ravens jumped up to grab dynamic Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson at the end of the first round of April’s draft, the expectation was he would sit at least a year behind incumbent starter Joe Flacco. That’s largely been the case this year, though that doesn’t mean he’s flown completely under the radar in 2018.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton knows a thing or two about athletic players at the position of signal caller; after all he’s arguably been the best one this decade since being selected first overall by Carolina back in 2011. Naturally, he’s kept his eye on Jackson over the past several years, and had some very complimentary things to say about the young gunslinger ahead of the matchup on Sunday:
“He’s got a little bit more life in his legs than I do. A little bit more wiggle. I’ll be trying to take some notes out of his book,” Newton said. “Very, very exceptional talent Lamar is. I’ve been watching him for a long time.”
It seems logical Newton would have his eye on a young and talented passer with possibly historic athletic potential. Newton was able to parlay his potential into becoming one of the more respected players in the league, having since won an MVP award and appeared in a Super Bowl while consistently guiding Carolina to winning seasons and sustained playoff success.
He sees that type of ability in Jackson and made it known he was happy to see the fellow Heisman trophy winner land where he did:
“I was excited when he got picked when he did,” Newton said. “As he keeps growing in this league, I know his confidence will rise. And hopefully one day, he’ll have the reins to be a starter.”
While it may take a little while for Jackson to get his shot, especially considering Flacco’s resurgent efforts this season, it’s great to see Jackson catching the notice of the rest of the league, especially some of its better quarterbacks. Newton isn’t the first to comment on his promise, as Deshaun Watson has done the same in the past.
Hopefully Jackson develops into that type of player. For now, it’s good to see him receive praise while being a complementary part of the game plan. The Ravens will likely need some creativity to get a victory over Newton on Sunday.