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Bill Polian admits “I was wrong” about Lamar Jackson

Chris Simms gives an update to the top half of his NFL QB rankings at the midseason mark, including big jumps for Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and Jacoby Brissett.

It’s not an easy thing to say, whether you’re Arthur Fonzarelli or a Hall of Fame General Manager.

But Bill Polian is able to admit it now, even though he might have been the last one to do so.

Polian told Jarrett Bell of USA Today “I was wrong” about Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson being a wide receiver in the NFL.

“I was wrong, because I used the old, traditional quarterback standard with him, which is clearly why John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome were more prescient than I was,” Polian said. “And Greg [Roman] found a way in how he’s developed a system to use those dynamic skills. Bottom line, I was wrong.”

Of course, plenty of people saw something else in that old, traditional quarterback standard, since he didn’t suggest that Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold or Josh Allen or Josh Rosen should change positions, while praising their abilities as passers. At the moment, none of those four are involved in any MVP discussions.

Much like when Polian claimed he had a first-round grade on Tom Brady (even though he didn’t take any of the five chances to draft him before the Patriots did), Polian claimed that he was right, in a way.

“I said that in that draft, with the ball in his hand, he’s the most dynamic player in the draft,” Polian said of Jackson.

It’s easy to pick on Polian for the big wrongs, but he also has a bust in Canton for the many times he was right while building three teams. That’s part of the danger of being conscripted into the hot-take-industrial complex. At least his pride and stubbornness (which is both well-earned and part of his great success) didn’t lead him to insist he was correct, long after everyone realized he was not.