Ravens should be concerned about Lamar Jackson
It's OTAs and it's May, but the Baltimore Ravens should be concerned about Lamar Jackson's ability to throw the football. They have one of the most fascinating offenses to watch this coming season in terms of truly 11 on 11 football, but if they can't get more out of Jackson as a passer, the NFL is going to adjust and catch up.
That's not an encouraging lede and while the Ravens, particularly John Harbaugh are saying the right things, this isn't what they want to hear.
"I'd say, my first day, I sucked. Second day, I did better. Today, it was all right but it could've been better. I'm always trying to be perfect in practice." - Lamar Jackson
They don't need Lamar Jackson to be an elite passer with pin point accuracy and timing, but they wouldn't hate it either. What they can't be, however, is a team that finds themselves needing to pass and being unable to function at all. Against the Los Angeles Chargers in the playoffs, the Ravens were shut down and Jackson looked completely helpless.
Jackson was a rookie. He has time to develop. The Ravens have added more talent to an offense that desperately needed. The coaching staff should be more comfortable running this offensive scheme.
However, embracing this offensive system, which is unique to the NFL, makes it very easy to take a number of swings at the quarterback position at a discounted rate. So long as they stick with this system, they are always going to have quarterbacks they have rated higher than the rest of the NFL they can get far cheaper.
The physical risk alone makes it prudent for the Ravens to keep drafting quarterbacks. They always need to have three quarterbacks that can step in and run it. So they can take meaningful swings at the quarterback position while still believing in Jackson and potentially end up with a better option.
Looking way ahead at the 2020 NFL Draft, Jalen Hurd of Oklahoma and D'Eriq King of Houston are a pair of quarterbacks that may or may not be attractive to the rest of the NFL, but could be right in the Ravens wheelhouse. And if the rest of the NFL engages in asking them to change positions, they can rest easy knowing the Ravens will be there to grab them to play their chosen position. This is exactly the scenario that played out with Trace McSorley in this year's NFL Draft.
There are a little over three months until the regular season kicks off, but when the question with your quarterback is how effectively the quarterback can throw the ball on a basic level, that's a problem. It's great news for the Cleveland Browns as they contend against the Ravens for the AFC North this year, but they still have to figure out how to stop that offense, which gave them fits the one time they faced Jackson.