Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio examines the footwork of Lamar Jackson, a top quarterback prospect for the 2018 NFL Draft.
A quarterback’s footwork is a window to his mind. As I continue studying Lamar Jackson’s game, I see an intelligent, patient, and accurate passer when he begins the play with a plan. Even if the defense foils the plan early, Jackson makes good adjustments from a balanced position in both body and mind.
Jackson falters when he doesn’t have a technically sound starting point. This is a common issue for most quarterbacks because the process of throwing a football is a series of physical steps that build upon each other. If it doesn’t begin well, it often doesn’t end well.
Quarterbacking is a lot like playing a musical instrument. If the baseline technique isn’t consistent, the player lacks complete control and range over his instrument. Jackson makes sweet music and as he develops greater control over his instrument, he’ll be capable of consistent feats of virtuosity.
Notice I didn’t write “if he develops.” I’m confident he will because when he understands how to execute a physical process, he incorporates it into the reality of any given play. His three-step and five-step drops are good examples. Jackson integrates them well with a variety of play fakes, pump fakes, hitches, look-offs of coverage, as well as negotiating the pocket and knowing when to maintain or abandon a balanced form as a passer.
It’s when he doesn’t have a defined physical process as his starting point that his game deteriorates. This RSP Boiler Room examines a handful of Jackson’s throws that illustrate where his accuracy succeeds and fails based on the footwork of his drops as the precursor of his release.
For analysis of skill players in the 2017 draft class, download Matt Waldman’s 2017 Rookie Scouting Portfolio today! Better yet, if you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2017 RSPs at no additional charge. Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 apiece.