Scouting Report: Lamar Jackson – 2016 Safety

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Just one look at Lamar Jackson and it’s easy to see why so many programs are excited about his potential at the next level. He already looks the part of a college football player.

He also flashes traits that make him look like he should already be playing in college as well. He just needs to add the consistency to make him an elite player for right now and beyond.

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 205

Athletic ability/measurables

Jackson is so big for his position. He’s pretty much the prototype that programs would hope for in terms of height and length. He may actually grow into a linebacker eventually. He is surprisingly fluid for his size and shows quick feet. He has good long speed.

Skills/technique

Jackson plays quarterback, receiver, and running back on offense and stars at all of those positions because of his size and athleticism. His lateral agility is very good and he is a dangerous player with the ball in his hands. Although it’s where he makes the most splash plays at the prep level, defense is where his future lies in college.

I saw him play exclusively at corner and mostly in man coverage. When playing off, he was balanced in his backpedal and did a nice job of planting and exploding to the football. He opens up his hips well and I didn’t see the tightness that a lot of other taller defensive backs show.

I loved what I have seen from in coverage in a camp setting. I would like to see him be a bit more physical at the line in press and use his long arms to his advantage more at that time, but he mirrored small and quick receivers with ease. He was step for step and adjusted so well. He also showed great ball skills and was able to get his hands on a lot of football and finish with interceptions. He showed good hands.

However, I can see why some have him ranked lower than someone would expect with his offers based off of his game film. For one, he is a hitter and not a tackler. I saw him throw his shoulder into ball carriers and receivers, but never wrap up and hit through anyone. He got lucky a few times where it looked like players were going to bounce off of him and keep going as well. He needs to become a lot better tackler.

In coverage he did not look nearly as sharp in actual games as he did when playing 7 on 7 as well. Numerous times he appeared to be beat, but was bailed out by underthrown footballs. I don’t think he was beat with speed or athleticism either. He looked to be undisciplined and lacked focus on those plays.

He has good footwork and all of the necessary physical traits to excel. I would like to see him put it together a bit more as a senior in games this fall.

Scheme fit

He projects to be a strong safety at the next level with the versatility to play man coverage in the slot as well.

Potential

Jackson is such an interesting prospect because his size and the way he moves put his ceiling through the roof. At the same time, I think he looked a lot better in 7 on 7 than when he actually had the pads on. If it’s a sign of improvement and him taking his game to a higher level, then I like where things are headed for him. He has the talent to be a unique player in the secondary for his future program of choice.

Recruiting Site Position Position Rank Stars
Rivals S 6 4
Scout S 28 3
247 Sports S 5 4
ESPN ATH 16 4

Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).