Bruce Arians thinks the Cardinals should draft Lamar Jackson

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Bruce Arians, who retired this offseason as head coach of the Cardinals, says his old team should draft Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Arians told the Arizona Republic that if Jackson is available with the 15th overall pick, the Cardinals should take him.

“That’s one guy I really am intrigued with because he can spin it and he’s been in a pro-style offense and he’s been hard coached by Bobby [Petrino],” Arians said. “He brings that unique skill-set, and it makes me look back at Vince Young. Vince could beat you and he was a heck of a leader. I don’t know why it didn’t work out for him, but listening to him now, telling his story, he’s like, ‘I didn’t put the time in.’ I think Lamar puts the time in. He’s going to get better, and he just brings that unique ability to break the game open with his legs.”

Arians doesn’t buy the talk that Jackson isn’t ready to be an NFL-style passer.

“He’s been in a pro-style offense,” Arians said. “He’s more of a scrambler with designed runs. I don’t think I’d design runs for him. I would just let him, a la Russell Wilson, take what’s there, and whoosh, take off running.”

Arians had success coaching Carson Palmer, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning, but he never coached a runner like Jackson. He would have loved that opportunity.

41 responses to “Bruce Arians thinks the Cardinals should draft Lamar Jackson

  1. Sure looking forward to the end of all the speculation and start of the second guessing on the actual draft moves made by each team. Of course what we all think won’t really matter until we see some 3-4 years from now, whether the team really did well. Fun stuff.

  2. Vince Young failed because he had the brain power of a pencil. He couldn’t tell you what a defense was going to do if you told him. It’s a shame, I had his jersey.

  3. .
    Most NFL teams have very spotty records when drafting QBs that are prototype size. It gets even harder when you have these outlier types, like Jackson, who can compensate for their physical shortcomings with other unique skills. However, QB needy teams have to be wary of projecting him into Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson class at this point.

  4. I’m no Arians fan, and was a little worried when he brought up Vince Young, but I get his point. He’s talking skill set first, work ethic second. Young had the talent, but couldn’t get his head on straight. I’ll buy that.

    I for one think Jackson is a steal in this draft. I don’t buy the “pro-style offense argument” anymore but he has the skills and the drive to succeed. I think sometimes people forget he did win a Heisman.

  5. The worst thing a coach can do to a scrambling quarterback is to tell him that he MUST stay in the pocket no matter what. Let him run when he cannot find anybody open. That makes him much more difficult to defend because they now have to designate a defender to spy on the QB to keep him from running. That opens things up for the passing game.

  6. The cardinals should do this, but we know what will happen. Keim will draft somebody that ends up being just another guy or role player. Look at their last few first round picks since ‘13. Buchanon and (maybe?) reddick so far are the only ones worth anything

  7. The guy has football instincts. His problem is that he’s a runner first. In college he had 619 pass completions (57%). He had 566 rushing attempts. His problem is can he ever just stand in the pocket and trust his OL and other blockers to protect him. If he’s getting sacked 50 plus times like Arians’ Arizona OL last year, forget about it.

  8. Too bad he wasn’t thinking like that last year, could have moved up to get Watson. Had he done that he may still be coaching/throwing people under the bus.

  9. I think the Cardinals have to take a QB at 13. Bradford is made of glass and Glennon is a glorified back up. If you draft Jackson, build the offense around his strengths, and put him in the same backfield as a healthy David Johnson then look out NFL cause that would be one of the best rushing offenses in the league.

  10. He surfaces. The self proclaimed maven of football can’t help himself can he? Isn’t it enough that some fans will have to listen to him broadcast his babble this season, but now he can properly evaluate draft picks.

  11. I agree. Outside of Rosen, he’s the only other guy I think that has a chance to be good. Ironically, with both of them the major issue I have is their attitudes. Rosen looked beaten down at times at UCLA and it showed, and Jackson would sulk at times when things didn’t go his way but he still performed virtually with lesser talent his last couple of years as a starter, btw the same thing for Rosen. Rosen’s medical issues would concern me as well.

    Darnold’s mechanics and turnover problem scares me and Allen can’t play. Mayfield is a college quarterback who won’t translate just like Manziel imo and is being fawned over just like he was 3 years ago by the so called experts when it seemed obvious to anyone with eyes that that wouldn’t work because of his limitations.

  12. I harken back to another running QB, that was drafted in the first round, “put in the time”, and was “polarizing”. He stayed in the league about 3-4 years and didn’t do much. BTW, he had far better passing stats in college than Lamar.

    I present – Tim Tebow.

  13. “Vince didn’t put the time in”…. well you can put all the time in the world in, but if your mental ceiling is low you will hit it real quick as a QB in the NFL….maybe that had something to do with why he was a bust….Hope Lamar has higher ceiling….

  14. Vince Young spent too much time buying $600 a shot Louis cognac, and didn’t put the time in to become a great QB. He could have been great but killed his own career with his high level of immaturity.

  15. Talking about what a leader Vince Young was, and then quoting that Young said he didn’t succeed because he ‘didn’t put the time in’, is a little incongruous. Didn’t make him much of a leader then did it?

  16. Also, while Lamar Jackson is a tremendous athlete and interesting prospect, his 57% completion rate in college should be a red flag. Not a deal-breaker necessarily, but something that needs to be strongly considered.

  17. Meh, Arians coached Gabbert, who ran a 4.62 40 at the Nike Combine coming out of HS and the NFL Combine 4 years later. Jackson ran a 4.77 at the Nike Combine, and is too embarrassed to show his current time to NFL scouts. He’s dodged the event twice, even though he’s been training for it same as the other prospects. He knows what his training times are, and the rest of us never will.

  18. TruFBFan says:

    April 23, 2018 at 7:12 am

    I think sometimes people forget he did win a Heisman.


    Winning the Heisman trophy means nothing to having success in the NFL. Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, Jason White, Matt Leinart, Troy Smith, Tim Tebow, Robert Griffin III, and Johnny Manziel are also quarterbacks that won the Heisman trophy.

    That is just 8 out of the 15 quarterbacks that won since 2000, the others Palmer(solid career), Bradford(injury prone), Newton(solid career), Winston(turnover prone and regressed last year), Mariota(regressed last year), Lamar Jackson(yet to play in the NFL), and Baker Mayfield(yet to play in the NFL). If I include all Heisman trophy winners that failed in the NFL I would have a field day naming them.

  19. rageviral says: April 23, 2018 at 6:13 am
    Vince Young failed because he had the brain power of a pencil. He couldn’t tell you what a defense was going to do if you told him. It’s a shame, I had his jersey.

    People scoff at the Wonderlic test, but for QBs it does matter, especially for someone lazy. Vince Young’s first score was a SIX (6)! Then he took it again and got a 15, which is still comically bad for a QB. Both of those scores should have been enormous red flags.

  20. granadafan ,

    you mean like Dan Marino’s 13? he’s just the greatest pure passer I’ve ever seen. i lived in Nashville when Young flamed out. It was mostly about Fisher and Chow who he hired after Heimerdinger left not wanting him as they preferred Leinhart who was a tremendous bust on every level while Young was going 31-19 as a starter. As we have seen in subsequent years, don’t blame offensive players for what Jeff Fisher didn’t do with them. Young was immature and handled the situation badly as well, but you would hope your head coach isn’t passive aggressive against your QB out of spite despite him saving his job not once but twice. Had Hemerdinger not gotten sick, I’m convinced that even with all of their personal baggage, Young would have continued to succeed because he was the one guy who made the Fisher coaching illusion work as he overcame Fisher’s ineptitude.

  21. If the “QB Whisperer” had developed a quarterback to succeed Carson Palmer (34 years old when Arians took over,) Bruce would still have a job.

  22. To reiterate what I said earlier…Jackson’s 57% completions ISN”T necessarily a deal-breaker, just needs t be considered. Just sayin’ also.

  23. Cardinals have no intentions of drafting a QB. They do not possess the vision or business acumen to obtain what they need. They keep rolling the dice on veteran QB’s, without regard for the future

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