Lamar Jackson will enter his sophomore campaign as the unquestioned starter at quarterback and with Robert Griffin III being re-signed to a two-year deal just days ago, he will have a familiar face backing him up.
New offensive coordinator Greg Roman, along with Eric DeCosta and John Harbaugh, have talked about catering the offense towards Jackson’s strengths and surrounding him with weapons that mesh with his skill set.
While we don’t know exactly how things will end up playing out with the draft still in play, the expectation is that Lamar will be put in a position to succeed this coming season. Robert Griffin III is the ideal backup quarterback given his relationship with Jackson, expierence in offensive scheme, and because of his own skill set
It’s obviously smart to be realistic when setting expectations and making predictions, however, thinking outside the box is more exciting. With this in mind, here are some bold predicitions for the Ravens quarterbacks next season.
Lamar Jackson will set a new NFL-record
In 2011, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton rushed for 14 touchdowns, the most ever by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Like Newton, Jackson is dangerous with his legs and is a threat to score from nearly anywhere. Jackson only had five rushing touchdowns last year, four of which came after he took over the starting job.
Going from five to 15, the number he’d need to break Newton’s record, seems like a pretty significant jump. However, assuming Jackson plays all 16 games next year, he’ll have plenty of opportunties to score in the redzone on some dialed-up packages from Greg Roman. We can also expect him to break loose for some big touchdown runs outside of the redzone, as he did multiple times last season.
Robert Griffin III will play at least one snap in every game
In the first half of last season, we saw the Ravens deploy two-quarterback sets several times every game. This would usually entail Joe Flacco lining up as an eligible wide receiver and standing still the entire play while Lamar Jackson operated a designed quarterback run. There was, however, a few instances in which Jackson lined up on the outside and Flacco was the quarterback. Could we see similar offensive action next season?
When Lamar Jackson took over during the second half of the season, there was only one or two instances in which him and RGIII saw the field at the same time. However, with a full offseason to design a new playbook and offensive scheme, I believe Greg Roman will craft some creative packages with both quarterbacks on the field, even if Griffin acts as more of a decoy, similar to Flacco’s role.
Jackson will have the highest completion % among second-year QB’s
While he certainly has a long way to go as a pure passer, Jackson actually ranked second among the five rookie starting quarterbacks last season, edging out Josh Allen (52.8%), Josh Rosen (55.2%), and Sam Darnold (57.7%). Jackson, who completed 58.2% of his passes, trailed only Baker Mayfield, albeit by a fairly significant margin. It’s certainly bold to think Jackson will jump Mayfield and outpace the remaining quarterbacks in this stat, especially when, with the expection of Rosen, they’ve been given offensive weapons this offseason.
However, it’s not outside the realm of possibility and I think it could happen. Jackson has a full offseason to work on his accuracy and throwing mechanics, while also getting to develop chemistry with his to-be-determined starting receivers. Jackson did not have this luxury last year, instead getting thrown into the fire midseason. With the addition of Mark Ingram, the running game figures to be even more potent next year. This will open up opportunties in the passing game and keep defenses honest, which should help Jackson improve his completion percentage.
Which one of these predictions can you envision coming to fruition? Be sure to leave your thoughts down below, as well as any bold predictions of your own, and check out similar upcoming content for other positions on the roster.