Throughout his college career, Lamar Jackson has been doubted. From his freshman year on, people were criticizing his passing and saying he ran too much. Leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, former NFL general manager Bill Polian went as far as to say that Jackson should be a wide receiver. Well, in his second season, he continues to prove doubters wrong. The second-year quarterback was officially handed the keys to the offense this offseason after the Ravens traded Joe Flacco to the Broncos and there was still concern about the offense under him. Well, after the start he has had this season, plenty are comparing him to another special talent at quarterback: Michael Vick.
When Vick came into the NFL, no one was sure what to make of him. He was one of the fastest players in the NFL and he had a very strong arm. And once he took over the offense, he electrified. He was must-watch television every time he stepped on the field. Unfortunately, some bad decisions ended up derailing his career and although he was able to make it back to the NFL, he wasn't exactly the same player. The buzz was there, but the athletic ability had taken a slide.
Jackson, like Vick, is must-watch television. He can make anything happen at any time, but the comparison to Michael Vick stops after you quit speaking on the exciting running ability, strong arm and must-see play. Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson both have strong arms and can sling it, but with Vick, it took him some time to learn how to put touch on passes and accuracy. Jackson only threw the ball 179 times in his rookie season and completed 58.2% of his passes. This season, he has completed more passes (185) than he threw all of last season (170) and his completion percentage has risen to 66.3%. Along with the completion percentage, he has shown more touch on passes in addition to the bullets from the pocket. Vick never fully mastered that.
Another thing you notice is the nature of Jackson is his desire to learn and be better. Vick admittedly said he did not study much when he played in the NFL. And as a result of that, you did not see him continue to grow as the quarterback he could have been. Jackson, on the other hand, is a gymrat when it comes to football. He studies film and does what he needs to do to get better. And the results of it are showing on the field, as he has improved in every facet of his game. Along with that, his teammates recognize the improvement and willingly follow his lead.
Vick was a generational talent that never fully reached his potential. Jackson is an incredible talent of that nature as well, but the difference is he is currently fulfilling that level of ability Vick had while carving out his own legacy in the NFL. Vick had all the skills and he did some great things, but what he did not do unfortunately is put the time in to honing his craft. Jackson has started diving in at a young age and everyone is getting to see the benefits of it each Sunday he plays.