It makes sense why the Ravens would want to give Lamar Jackson some reps at slot receiver, but it doesn’t come without a few question marks.
When the Baltimore Ravens selected Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson with the 32nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, there was no doubt they were planning for their future beyond current quarterback Joe Flacco.
As expected, the 33-year-old Flacco will once again be Baltimore’s starting quarterback in 2018, while 21-year-old Jackson is expected to serve as the No. 2 option with a chance to learn behind an 11-year NFL veteran and former Super Bowl MVP. But as training camp progresses, it appears that the Ravens are anxious to get Jackson some experience on the field, even if it’s not at his normal position.
In Baltimore’s third full team practice, Jackson participated in the workout at quarterback behind Flacco, but also lined up as a slot receiver on a handful of occasions, according to USA Today. So far, he’s mostly just been taking pitches or short passes from Flacco, and then throwing downfield. But as training camp continues, they might give him a chance to actually run routes and catch passes. You never know.
It’s not uncommon to see mobile quarterbacks like Jackson occasionally get in some reps at receiver, but nonetheless, it’s a risky move by the Ravens. As unfortunate as it is, there is always a risk for injury. Not to mention, if they want him to be the franchise quarterback of the future and lead the Ravens back to the promise land, there probably isn’t anything that would make him hungrier than being confined to the sidelines and watching Flacco – once training camp is over, that is.
Will the Ravens actually use Jackson as a receiver during the actual regular season games? That remains to be seen, and probably not. This is probably just more of a training camp experiment, but nonetheless, they need to be careful with their young prospect.
On another note, Jackson fell to the very end of the first round of the draft for reasons such as accuracy problems. If the Ravens hope to fix these issues, he should probably be doing as much quarterback work as possible.
Either way, it will be interesting to see how the Ravens plan to use Jackson this year, and to see if he gets the call at quarterback before the end of the season.