Lamar Jackson prefers game speed to the 40-yard dash

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Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson chose not to run the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine or his Pro Day workout. After throwing nearly 60 passes for scouting on Thursday, he explained why he chose not to run.

“Game speed is going to tell it all,” Jackson told Mike Mayock of NFL Network. “You’ve go to catch me first.”

He’s right, and it’s refreshing to see a top prospect refuse to fully submit to the dog-and-pony portion of the pre-draft process. If anyone wants to know whether he’s fast, they can watch how he did when facing college competition.

A cynic would say he chose not to run at the Combine or his Pro Day workout because he knew the outcome wouldn’t be impressive. If so, he wouldn’t be the first guy who has a different gear in T-shirts and shorts in a straight line and in full pads with defenders chasing him.

31 responses to “Lamar Jackson prefers game speed to the 40-yard dash

  1. He’s clearly ducking the 40 cuz he knows his legs are what is making him a potential 1st round pick, not his arm. If his legs turn out to be more ordinary than extraordinary he will lose $$$.

  2. This guy seems like he has a good head on his shoulders. I hope he gets to prove all those “he’s a running back playing QB” naysayers wrong. Doesn’t have the diva attitude and would rather let his on field play speak for itself.

  3. They’re not just judging the players on their statistical measures on a test. They’re judging their ability to conform, do what they are told, adapt to being a pro. He’s not an employee yet and he has every right not to comply but when he gets drafted lower than he expected he’ll only have himself to blame.

  4. I think it’s a good idea because the value he brings as a runner isn’t an issue. Where he gets drafted will depend on what teams think of his ability as a passer.

    I really hope he goes to the right place that is willing to cater an offense to his skill set.

  5. The defenders in the NFL are much faster than in college. a 40yd dash time is a good baseline for scouts to compare..Maybe he should have run the 40 and pretended to have von miller chase him

  6. It cracks me up that you want to see everything change with the NFL Florio,even though it’s your bread and butter.

    Of course I’m sure this will get censored like any other criticism you receive

  7. 60ftlesbianoctopus says:

    March 29, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    This guy seems like he has a good head on his shoulders. I hope he gets to prove all those “he’s a running back playing QB” naysayers wrong. Doesn’t have the diva attitude and would rather let his on field play speak for itself.
    ————————
    Might not be a diva but what’s the excuse for not having an agent???

  8. He’s not running because when he goes out there and smokes a 4.45 everyone is gong to start up with the receiver BS again. Anyone who has watched his film knows he is the fastest of the big time QBs in the draft.

  9. I don’t know who’s saying he’s “a running back playing QB”, he’s WAY too slight and narrow to stand up to RB style punishment, and since that’s such a huge part of his game, since he won’t be running circles around NFL defenses like he did in the ACC, since we’ve seen it repeatedly proven that one read narrow framed gazelles don’t survive playing quarterback in the NFL, THAT is why i say it would be insane to touch him in the 1st rd.

    Yeah he has talent, yeah he was electrifying in college. But we’ve seen this story 100 times before. Maybe he’s different, maybe not. Is it worth a 1st rd pick and investing your entire offense being built around his specific skills to find out? Not for me it isn’t.

    Mason Rudolph is the 5th QB. Not Lamar.

  10. he’s not running because there will be no more running in the league anyway, as that is where the league is headed with the helmet rule. rbs will be most affected. keep penalizing teams 15 yards for rb lowering his head, and soon all teams will throw on every down

  11. It cracks me up that you want to see everything change with the NFL Florio,even though it’s your bread and butter.

    Of course I’m sure this will get censored like any other criticism you receive
    ___

    Oh someone was asleep at the wheel! His feelings might get hurt now.

    I’ve thought the same thing many times too. It almost seems like PFT would happier if football didn’t exist. Pretty sure he’d rather quit and go become a player agent anyways since he can never stop trying to prove to us how much smarter he is about everything contracts. Because you know, you need an agent to google state income tax codes according to him lol

  12. If a team asks for his 40 time he should tell them that he’s faster than Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, even if he ran backwards. Also, the teams concerned about a QB’s 40 time are probably teams you’d want to avoid anyway. Every day I read more stuff that makes me wonder if Bill Belichick is really that smart, or if all these other people are just that stupid. I think it’s both.

  13. The “dog and pony show” pays these guys a minimum of $500k per year.

    My real world show, where I work 11 months a year, pays me a fraction of that. And I abide by my employers rules to keep that job.

    Unless he wants a job like mine, I’d be the circus freak they want me to be. Ask Eric Reid about going against the grain. FYI… you’ll find him in the unemployment line.

  14. PFT is always promoting that players buck the trend to speak up more on social issues, refuse to play in college, bowl games, refuse to interview, refuse to participate in the combine, etc. Guess what happened to players to took a knee. They’ve been blackballed. You’re applauding guys like Lamar for not participating in the “dog and pony show”, but Lamar isn’t even considered at the top of the QB group. NFL teams and coaches are VERY conservative and don’t like players who don’t do the usual song and dance that every player has previously gone through. With scarce jobs available, teams hold the power. Why offend your potential employers?

  15. He runs at least a 4.4 40-yard dash.

    Not sure why he wouldn’t run. Maybe he didn’t want to run because he wants to give QB a shot and not be put right at WR.

  16. charliecharger says:
    March 29, 2018 at 2:24 pm
    If a team asks for his 40 time he should tell them that he’s faster than Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, even if he ran backwards.
    ==

    Apples-to-oranges statement.
    Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are excellent passers in a league where passing is paramount. Speed isn’t an issue with either man.
    Lamar Jackson had passing issues in college, and couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn in recent public workouts. Speed is his bread and butter, and while 40 times are often not necessarily relevant to true NFL game speed, a job applicant’s willingness to do what’s asked of him during the interview process — or not — is telling and very much relevant.

  17. He scored horribly on the Wonderlic! 2018 NFL Draft prospect Wonderlic scores:
    1. Josh Allen Wyoming – 37
    2. Josh Rosen UCLA – 29
    3. Sam Darnold USC – 28
    4. Baker Mayfield OU – 25
    5. Lamar Jackson Louisville – 13

  18. Lamar is better off being drafted after the 1st round…because if he gets drafted in the 1st round and becomes even an average QB…the team that drafts him will use a fifth year option + 2 franchise tags against him if they don’t feel like paying him what he’s worth…

  19. Florio makes a good point and the old arm chair elites come stumbling in to criticise him. Like someone already pointed out, going in he’s faster than nearly every ” elite” player playing qb today without having to run. It is a stupid test for qbs anyways as quickness compared to speed saves most qbs whose pockets can’t hold longer than a second. Just a bunch of bored, jealous men who were never able to play the game.

  20. theimmaculatedeception says:
    March 29, 2018 at 1:41 pm
    Jerry Rice preffered that too. Average 40 times for Rice – unbelievable game speed, run after catch and elusiveness. Worked out OK for JR. #GOAT
    —————-
    Please, JR is an admitted cheater, he admitted to spraying his already designed to help you catch a ball gloves, with stickum spray…he isnt anywhere near the greatest of all time as a result of that…folks like lance alworth ran rings around him as receiver…

  21. Jackson ran a 4.77 40 at the Nike Combines coming out of high school. He just isn’t that fast. Blaine Gabbert ran 4.62 for Nike while being 3″ taller and 40 pounds heavier. That was the exact number Blaine ran 4 years later at the NFL Combine.

    The whole line about not wanting to run at the NFL Combine because someone said he should be a WR was just a smoke screen. L.J. has been training, he knows what time he is capable of and it’s much better for him to leave it a mystery.

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