The NFL draft is only a month away and the excitement of watching your favorite team draft their first pick has been building for what seems to be a lifetime. Trades are being made, free agents are finding new homes, and teams are preparing to bring in their hopeful stars of the future this April. Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the quieter teams in the off-season, this year seems to be different. Two new defensive players have been added to the roster via free agency and the team has spoken to numerous prospects from the draft. But out of all the prospects the team has interviewed, none are more surprising and exciting then quarterback Lamar Jackson.
It was reported that the Steelers had a meeting with the Heisman winning quarterback back in early March during the combine. This came as a surprise to many, seeing as Pittsburgh drafted Joshua Dobbs last year and current quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has spoken to the team and would like to keep playing for a couple more seasons. But the Steelers might be on to something when it comes to Jackson.
If you’ve been living under a rock, Jackson was one of the most athletic quarterbacks during his time at Louisville. During his three year career he racked up 9,018 yards through the air and added 69 touchdowns as well. His most promising stats, however, came in the running game. Jackson somehow managed to rush for more yards in his career then the number one running back in this year’s draft class, Saquon Barkley. Jackson ran for 4,790 yards on the ground and scored a whopping 50 touchdowns as well. Jackson managed these ridiculous stat lines almost all on his own with an abysmal offensive line to go along with a below average receiving corp. Jackson’s rare athleticism is nothing to scoff at, and it is actually very puzzling as to why he isn’t rated higher in this year’s class of quarterbacks. This is where the Steelers may come off as football geniuses if they can land Jackson.
A lot of this year’s top quarterback prospects are projected to go in the first round. Although Jackson is in this category, many do not have him going before the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Rosen. This is exactly what Pittsburgh wants. With the Steelers drafting all the way at 28, their chances of grabbing Jackson sky rocket. All of the teams who need their franchise quarterback will have hopefully drafted their guy before the Steelers’ pick. This is when Pittsburgh needs to pull the trigger and draft Roethlisberger’s successor.
Lamar Jackson is being severely overlooked. His stats speak for themselves. No other quarterback came close to putting up the numbers that he did, and he practically did all of it by himself. His so called “weaknesses” (low completion percentage, missing the open man, small frame) can and will be ironed out while he takes a year or two learning from a future Hall of Fame quarterback and one of the best organizations in football. Long time Steelers fans who reminisce in the days of watching Kordell Stewart may get the opportunity to witness another player of his caliber who has the potential to be one of the best dual threat quarterbacks the league has ever seen. Let’s keep our fingers crossed in hopes that Pittsburgh pulls the trigger on, in my opinion, the best quarterback to come out of the draft this year.
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