Michael Vick stands behind his comments on Lamar Jackson being better than he was in college
Michael Vick once declared that Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was five times the player he was in college at Virginia Tech. While Vick was selected with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2001 NFL Draft, there doesn’t seem to be much clamoring for Jackson to be drafted that high in this year’s class.
However, Vick still believes in Jackson and his prospects at the professional level. In a podcast appearance with Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network, Vick recalled the game he watched Jackson play against Florida State in 2016 that led to his first impressions of Jackson as a quarterback.
“I could not believe what I had seen,” Vick said. “I could not believe the things he was able to do. He was a spitting image of me and the only thing that came to my mind was this kid is five times better than I was when I was at Virginia Tech, only because he was doing it against Florida State. I remember how difficult it was for me to move the chains against Florida State, what effort had to be put in to getting first downs, scoring touchdowns.”
Jackson rushed for 146 yards and four touchdowns against the No. 2 ranked Seminoles and also completed 13 of 20 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Louisville’s 63-20 victory. While some people have said they think Jackson would be better suited converting to wide receiver, Vick still thinks Jackson is a tremendous quarterback.
“The kid is 6-3, 215 pounds. For anybody to say that Lamar Jackson is a receiver, I don’t think they understand the quarterback position. I don’t think they appreciate the value that can be brought from the quarterback position,” Vick said. “If I was a GM, I’d draft him. Whether it’s the first round of fourth round, you look at all of the quarterbacks coming out of the draft, they’re all projects. Nobody is guaranteed to do anything.”
Vick was a bit of a project in his own right as a passer when he entered the league. However, his athleticism created problems that NFL defenses in the early 2000’s were not prepared to handle. Defenses today are better situated to handle mobile passers, but offenses have also adapted to play more effectively to the skills of the quarterbacks that run them.
If Jackson is five times better as a collegiate player than Vick was, he’ll have a great chance to succeed as a quarterback in the NFL.