5.95 ?

Draft Analysis:

  • 6'3" Height
  • 200LBS. Weight


In a time where some players (and their parents) seek the limelight above all else, Jackson and his family have stayed away from the distractions. Jackson's father, Lamar, Sr., passed away in a car accident when Lamar was young, but even throughout the Heisman Trophy-winning 2016 season, Lamar and his mother, Felicia Jones, limited their media exposure. Of course, Jackson got plenty of exposure during his sophomore season, not only winning the Heisman but also Davey O'Brien and Maxwell Awards, as well as the ACC Player of the Year. Jackson's vision and speed as a runner helped him set a school record with 1,571 rushing yards (ranked 10th in the FBS) and 21 touchdowns on 260 carries. His cannon arm helped him pass for 3,543 yards (230-of-409, 56.2 completion percentage) for 30 touchdowns against nine interceptions. Jackson struggled throwing in the team's final three games, all losses (48 completion percentage, three touchdowns, three interceptions). Jackson played well in his junior season, as well, finishing third in the Heisman voting and earning second-team AP All-American, ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and first-team all-conference honors. He completed 59.1 percent of his passes (254-of-430) for 3,660 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions (four in the team's bowl loss to Mississippi State). Jackson also ran for 1,601 yards and 18 touchdowns (both in the top 10 nationally) on 232 carries, while finishing atop the FCS with 405 yards of total offense per game. In his first season with the Cardinals, Jackson started nine of 12 games (once at running back, against Auburn). His performance against Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl at the end of the year portended his future play, as he ran and threw for over 200 yards on his way to Most Valuable Player honors.



Elite playmaker with rare ability to hit home runs with his arm or legs. Has experience under center. Arm is lively and can spin it. Delivery devoid of wasted motion. Ball comes out with flick of the wrist reminiscent of Michael Vick. Can drive it with velocity. Pocket poise and pre-snap plan has improved each year. Has improved ability to hold safeties and linebackers with his eyes. Feathery deep ball touch off play fakes. Requirement of full-time spy lightens coverage numbers. Willing to take sack over making haphazard throw. Maestro of improv who is Second City worthy. Scrambling forces cornerbacks to choose between receiver and potential run support. Destroys pursuit angles when he runs. Has open field instincts and elusiveness of elite running back. Understands when his speed can eliminate a tackler and moves attention to the next level of danger. Red-zone juggernaut. Tallied 10 rushing touchdowns of over 40 yards in three seasons.


Carries spindly legs and a thin base. Slightly built for punishing hits he takes from pocket and as a runner. Must learn to slide. Lackadaisical in setup. Throws with excessively narrow base and stiff front side. Flips it rather than throws it. Makes targets work too hard. Sails throws that can end up in hands of a safety. At times, hesitates to challenge safeties in the seam. Low release point leads to tipped passes. Typically gets through reads 1 and 2 before halting progressions. Pocket awareness has room for improvement. Move accuracy on rollouts and scrambles is poor. Highly inaccurate with throws on the move throughout the 2017 season. Underthrown deep balls allow cornerbacks to play the ball. Lacks touch over the heads of middle linebackers into intermediate pockets. Turnover total still too high.

Draft Projection

Rounds 1-2

NFL Comparison

Michael Vick

Bottom Line

Evaluating Jackson against the NFL standards for the position will cause him to come up short. However, he has rare speed and athleticism and can single-handedly win games. Jackson's accuracy is clearly spotty and teams must decide the level of accuracy they are willing to live with relative to his ability to create explosive plays. Jackson may need to operate in an offense ready to integrate RPOs (run/pass options) along with heavy play-action. Like Deshaun Watson in 2017, Jackson has the ability to counter mental mistakes and turnovers with a high number of explosive, touchdown-making plays. He has star potential, but his success will rest heavily upon his ability to stay healthy.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster