Lamar Jackson has shown much more confidence early in training camp. The ball has been coming out smoothly, and he’s carried himself with the preparation of an up and coming NFL superstar. His completion percentage improved each year at Louisville, and I would expect that trend to continue in his NFL career.
ESPN’s Mike Clay round projections using historical trends and factors in typical progression/regression.
He’s projecting the Ravens to rush for around 2,600 yards, which would probably lead the league. He has Jackson throwing 455 passes, which would’ve ranked 20th in the NFL last season. Russell Wilson, for instance, threw 427.
With Jackson averaging 7.1 yards per attempt last season, that would equate to 3,230 yards. I predict that number to jump up around 7.8 for Jackson, as he has better deep threat receivers and more confidence. His passing yards then rise to 3,549 yards. This almost exactly how many yards Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick combined for in Greg Roman’s first year calling plays.
With receivers who are better threats after the catch and increased red zone efficiency, I believe Jackson will account for 20-22 touchdowns through the air. Let’s call that 21.
I also envision Jackson having one or two absolute clunkers this year, where he throws 2+ interceptions, less than 130 yards passing, and under 50% of his passes will be completed. Those games will spark him to become extremely efficient towards the end of the season, where Harbaugh’s Ravens tend to make a run. I predict Jackson will throw 11 interceptions and lose five fumbles. That would mean 16 turnovers.
Clay predicts Jackson will run the ball 153 times for 774 yards which is right around five yards per carry. This number sounds about right. Brian Billick asked Harbaugh whether Jackson will eclipse Cam Newton’s former record of 139 carries (which Jackson already surpassed last season in just 7 starts). Harbaugh, without hesitation, stated “I’ll take the over.”
“What’s the next era going to be? We’re about to find out.” @Ravens head coach John Harbaugh generously sat down w/ @CoachBillick and me after a sweltering practice. We had some fun. Here’s Part I: pic.twitter.com/AuFsT3ScOT— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) July 28, 2019
Jackson won’t be running as many QB designed runs in 2019, so his yards per carry should be slightly higher (scrambling yields higher yards per carry). I’ll put that number around 5.8 yards per carry. That would equate to 887 yards rushing. I think that Jackson will break the 10 touchdown mark on the ground, and hit 11.
Overall, I’m predicting Jackson’s stats to look like this:
- 3,549 yards passing
- 21 touchdown passes
- 11 interceptions
- 61% completion rate
- 7.8 Y/A
- 887 yards rushing
- 11 rushing touchdowns
- 13 fumbles, five lost
That puts Jackson around 4,436 total yards, 32 touchdowns, and 16 turnovers. Those numbers will have him as an outside MVP candidate, and if the Ravens run for ~2,600 total yards as Mike Clay predicted, then this offense should strike fear into their opponents game plan.
If Jackson is able to continue improving mentally while refining his technique, then the sky is the limit for these Ravens. Jackson has heard the doubters that ‘he’s the next Tim Tebow. Doubters can call Lamar Jackson a running back all they want, when he beats their favorite team they will “eat their words.”
Action Jackson will silence many doubters this fall. Go go em’ LJ8.