Michael Vick stands behind his comments on Lamar Jackson being better than he was in college

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Michael Vick once declared that Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was five times the player he was in college at Virginia Tech. While Vick was selected with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2001 NFL Draft, there doesn’t seem to be much clamoring for Jackson to be drafted that high in this year’s class.

However, Vick still believes in Jackson and his prospects at the professional level. In a podcast appearance with Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network, Vick recalled the game he watched Jackson play against Florida State in 2016 that led to his first impressions of Jackson as a quarterback.

I could not believe what I had seen,” Vick said. “I could not believe the things he was able to do. He was a spitting image of me and the only thing that came to my mind was this kid is five times better than I was when I was at Virginia Tech, only because he was doing it against Florida State. I remember how difficult it was for me to move the chains against Florida State, what effort had to be put in to getting first downs, scoring touchdowns.”

Jackson rushed for 146 yards and four touchdowns against the No. 2 ranked Seminoles and also completed 13 of 20 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Louisville’s 63-20 victory. While some people have said they think Jackson would be better suited converting to wide receiver, Vick still thinks Jackson is a tremendous quarterback.

“The kid is 6-3, 215 pounds. For anybody to say that Lamar Jackson is a receiver, I don’t think they understand the quarterback position. I don’t think they appreciate the value that can be brought from the quarterback position,” Vick said. “If I was a GM, I’d draft him. Whether it’s the first round of fourth round, you look at all of the quarterbacks coming out of the draft, they’re all projects. Nobody is guaranteed to do anything.”

Vick was a bit of a project in his own right as a passer when he entered the league. However, his athleticism created problems that NFL defenses in the early 2000’s were not prepared to handle. Defenses today are better situated to handle mobile passers, but offenses have also adapted to play more effectively to the skills of the quarterbacks that run them.

If Jackson is five times better as a collegiate player than Vick was, he’ll have a great chance to succeed as a quarterback in the NFL.

13 responses to “Michael Vick stands behind his comments on Lamar Jackson being better than he was in college

  1. The bigger problem with mobile quarterbacks is that they consistently get sacked. It’s not because they can’t get away from a pass rush but it’s because they constantly hold the ball too long thinking they can tuck and run all the time.

  2. I give a lot of credit to Louisville coach Bobby Petrino. Most college coaches would just take advantage of Lamar Jackson’s athleticism, and try to win with his legs. They’d throw occasional passes. But Petrino has worked with this kid to try to make him a complete QB. A QB who could help his college team win, and also help prepare him for the NFL. I don’t know if he’s better than Vick, but he’ll be prepared when NFL coaches start throwing stuff at him. They’ll be surprised how quickly he picks it up. Remembering back to Steve Young at BYU, it’s easy to tuck the ball and run for 50 yards when your first option isn’t wide open. If you remember, it took Young several years before he became a complete NFL QB, and that was after Tampa Bay already gave up on him. It really wasn’t until Mike Shanahan got ahold of Young, that he went to the next level. Jackson can play, he’ll just need a coach like Mike Shanahan, and some patience. At least he’ll be able to move the chains with his legs while he learns. I remember a game where Steve Young had an injury to one of his legs, and couldn’t move very well. It was eye opening because that was the best game I’d seen him play so far. He was kind of forced to stand in there and go through his progressions. He looked like a real pro. So it’s not always the case that these athletic QB’s can’t think, it’s just too easy to pick up 25 yards with your feet. They’ve been able to do that their entire lives. It’s a process.

  3. Kudos to Michael Vick for giving Lamar Jackson this kind of endorsement. I hate seeing current/former players talking down on the new class. I hope Jackson has success because he’s certainly fun to watch.

  4. if mike vick had learned to read defenses in real time, he wouldn’t have had to run after his first option was taken away, and wouldn’t have missed the safety blitz so often, so his endorsement is taken in that light…..

  5. After Rosen, he’d be the first guy I’d take. I like Darnold, but I like Jackson’s physical skills a little better, and they’re both going to need a lot of tutoring to get up to speed in the NFL.

    I don’t really get the fascination with Mayfield who looks like the classic nice college QB that doesn’t translate, and Josh Allen is going to get somebody fired.

  6. I don’t think there is any question that Jackson is the better of the 2 at age 21. Regardless of what people say, I still think Jackson goes in the 1st round. There are definitely some offensive minded coaches that would love to work with him. And, when he gets his first NFL start everyone is going to tune in. I know I want to watch that.

  7. “This kid is five times better than I was when I was at Virginia Tech, only because he was doing it against Florida State.”

    Florida State in 1999 was the first ever wire-to-wire #1 undefeated National Champion, and the defense Vick found it so difficult to move the chains against featured a whopping 13 future NFL players, Darnell Dockett among them. While Lamar Jackson deserves praise on his own merits, the FSU team Jackson faced was a paltry 7-6, a far cry from the undefeated juggernaut that obliterated Vick’s Hokies in the 2000 Sugar Bowl.

  8. It would not be hard to be better than Vick while he was in college – I saw enough of him to know he was nothing but a running back with little hint of actual QB talent – and he was as bright as a 2 watt light bulb.

  9. What’s the matter Vick? Nobody paying attention to you? Now you’re a self made NFL evaluator? Go away.

  10. Vick had his flaws on the field and off.

    But I still haven’t seen a more compact left handed cannon on a QB. His quick release and arm strength basically made up for his numerous short comings. An amazing throwing stroke and he doesn’t give himself enough credit.

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