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Shawne Merriman: Lamar Jackson Can Be One of All-Time Greats

Baltimore playmaker having another dominant season.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. —Ahead of the Week 5 Monday night game against the Colts and Ravens, former NFL Pro Bowl defensive end Shawne Merriman suggested that Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has a chance to become one of the all-time greats if he continues to sharpen his accuracy.

Jackson has shown steady progress with his pocket presence in his fourth season. 

“I always say this, if Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson became a little bit more accurate, I think he’ll go down as the best quarterback of all time," said Merriman, who is also NFL Ambassador, "Really, I do believe that. And I’m not talking about being a better passer than Peyton Manning or whatever, I’m just talking about an individual athlete who can hurt you in that many ways, and he finds a way to be accurate, what do you do?"

Over four games, Jackson has thrown for 1,077 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions (89.3 passer rating). He also leads the Ravens with 279 yards rushing.

In addition, Jackson:

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  • Leads the NFL in yards per completion (14.36), Matthew Stafford is second at 13.28.
  • Leads the league in air yards per passing attempt (11.60). Aaron Rodgers is second (9.71).
  • Is ranked first in play-action passing attempts.
  • Leads the NFL in play-action attempts on first down and is completing more than 77% of those passes.
  • Is the first player in NFL history with 1,000 yards passing and 250 yards rushing through the first four games of a season. 

“You can’t keep somebody to spy him and keep him in the pocket, because then you create more one-on-one coverages for Hollywood Brown and those wide receivers. If he got accurate, they’re going to win a lot of football games because you automatically know he’s going to hurt you with his legs,” Merriman said.