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Lamar Jackson named NFL’s No. 1 highlight-reel player

He is must-see TV

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Around the NFL’s Nick Shook recently wrote an article for ranking the NFL’s top-32 highlight-reel players. Shook divided the list into two sections: “the Pantheon” and “Coming for the Throne.”

“This group’s filled with players who require your attention whenever they’re on the field,” Shook said of the Pantheon. “Stop what you’re doing and take in their awesomeness, or else live with the regret of missing their latest (and perhaps greatest) feat.”

None other than 2019 unanimous League MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson sat atop the Pantheon list.

“Lamar is as close as the current NFL gets to a legit human highlight reel,” Shook wrote. “The Ravens quarterback commands a rare type of attention from NFL fans, one that demands viewers stop everything they’re doing to watch Jackson when he receives the snap because he carries the constant potential to make a memory. Jackson has already established himself as a master of the big play, making scores of defenders look hopelessly silly in the process, and the former Heisman Trophy winner doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. He reached 20-plus miles per hour on seven rushes in 2020 (including playoffs), per Next Gen Stats, and he’s almost guaranteed to gain yards in chunks when carrying the ball, averaging 7.8 per rush versus defensive boxes with less than seven defenders last season. That rate was the highest in the entire NFL, and should come as no surprise when considering who has the ball in his hands.”

Ravens fans have grown accustomed to Jackson pulling off eye-popping feats, even in his worst games. Two of Jackson’s teammates also made the list, albeit not in the Pantheon.

Regarding players in the Coming for the Throne section, Shook said:

“These guys are in line to one day call a seat in the Pantheon their own. They’ve proven they have what it takes to be considered among the league’s true eye-poppers — they just have to keep doing it to earn a spot in the Pantheon’s hallowed halls.”

All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters was next on the list for Baltimore.

“One statistical total tells you all you need to know about Peters’ play: 31 career interceptions,” Shook wrote. “Peters took three of those back for scores in 2019, including two with his new team in Baltimore, and he’s an ever-present threat to turn a pass into six for the Ravens. It’s not as if one needs any more reason to watch Baltimore on a weekly basis beyond the Lamar-led offense, but if you’re still searching for one, Peters has an answer for you.”

Fellow All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey also made the list.

“Humphrey lands on this list because of his blanket coverage, but more so because of his ability to swing the momentum in a game with the way he tackles ball carriers,” Shook wrote. “Nobody in the NFL forced more fumbles than Humphrey last season, leading the league with eight of them and helping Baltimore quickly flip the direction of multiple games. His 11 passes defensed only added to the impact he made on the field in 2020, and if the opposition learned anything from last season, it’s to take extra care of the ball when Humphrey is nearby.”