After setting the league ablaze and becoming just the second player in NFL history to be voted league MVP unanimously in 2019, Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson was voted to the top spot on the NFL Top 100 players heading into 2020 by his peers in the league.
While some statistical regression was expected from him following such a record-breaking season, Jackson is still the most dynamic, electric, and single-most difficult player to defend. However, his peers must have forgotten that fact when they voted on the list heading into the 2021 season because Jackson plummeted to No. 24.
Such a precipitous drop from the top spot is simply outrageous considering that his current and former teammates as well, as several of his peers featured in the clip above, even detailed just how special he truly is. They also talked about how figuring out a way to consistently stop or slow him down remains a conundrum because he makes several would-be tacklers look foolish grasping at air.
Despite having a reshuffled offensive line for most of the season and contracting COVID-19, Jackson still accounted for 33 total touchdowns in 15 games. He also became the first quarterback in league history to rush for 1,000 or more yards not just in consecutive seasons but more than once and led the Ravens to the playoffs for a third straight year.
Even veteran wide receiver Willie Snead IV, who played with Jackson for the first three years of his career and had a front-row seat to his ascension and maturation, didn’t show him enough respect, ranking him fifth on his list.
“I got to see him just break the league wide open,” Snead said. “And just prove everyone wrong that he can be a dynamic passer and runner.”
Cleveland Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett, Washington Football Team defensive tackle Daron Payne, and Indianapolis Colts’ linebacker Darius Leonard all raved about how Jackson is difficult to game plan for and even harder to actually defend. Garrett went as far as to refer to him as “Houdini”, implying that what he does on the field is both magical and mystifying.
“He’s as quick as anybody on the field,” Garrett said. “He’s got jets . . . I mean, it’s just always a threat. You don’t know really how to rush him.”