On Monday, ESPN analyst Bill Polian reiterated his belief that former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson should switch to receiver at the next level. Many disagreed, including another ESPN analyst.
Said Damien Woody, “[People] already want Lamar Jackson to switch positions?! We’ve seen plenty of bum QBs, that are still in the league . . . get chance after chance.”
Woody is right. There aren’t enough average quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and a guy who took college football by storm in 2016 (and who performed just as effectively in 2017) shouldn’t even have to deal with this question — especially when the assessment is based in part on the belief that Jackson isn’t tall enough.
Jackson stands at six feet, three inches. Four years ago, Polian argued that the Browns should use the fourth overall pick in the draft on Johnny Manziel. Manziel was (and still is) three inches shorter than Jackson.
It’s OK for different analysts to have different opinions about whether or not a player will thrive at his position of choice, or the round in which he should be drafted based on his skills, or lack thereof. But there should be more respect given to any player’s position of choice, especially when the player has shown that he can play that position well in college.
Jackson chooses to play quarterback, and he’s done enough to earn the benefit of the doubt that quarterback is the position he should play in the NFL — especially given that ugly period of NFL history when scouts and coaches summarily moved quarterbacks to other positions based solely on the color of their skin.