Sports fans voted Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson the recipient of the 2019 Premier Player of Professional Football award.
Lamar Jackson took the NFL by storm in his second year as a professional football player. The 6-foot-2, 212 pound player out of Pompano Beach, Florida, was selected with the final pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Ravens. He was seen as a low-risk pick by a team with Joe Flacco working as the starting quarterback, but an intriguing prospect out of Louisville who had passed for over 9,000 yards and rushed for over 4,100 yards in three years with the Cardinals.
Jackson found time in 16 games in his rookie NFL season, starting seven of them as he took over from the injured Flacco. Jackson rolled the Ravens into the playoffs and became the youngest quarterback to ever start a playoff game when they took on the Chargers in the Wild Card Round. While the Ravens would ultimately lose that game, the team had found a quarterback perfect for the changing dynamics of a modern NFL offense.
The Ravens made the decision to move on from Flacco and a new offensive system was built that would allow the athletic and improvisational Jackson to flourish. Playing just 15 games this season – Jackson and other key starters sat for the Week 17 contest because a playoff spot was secure – the second-year pro passed for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns. Jackson added 1,206 yards on the ground and another seven scores. This made Jackson the first player to throw 30+ touchdowns and rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.
Jackson’s most impressive stat on the season though might be his six interceptions thrown. While the NFL is more about passing the ball than ever, it is still almost impossible to win when the ball is turned over. Jackson was a 66.1% passer in 2019, but his misses rarely result in the ball being picked off. When he missed a pass he always seems to miss it well, with his ability to tuck the ball and run giving him an option against the pass rush that few quarterbacks can match.
That Jackson is achieving such a high level of play at his age and experience level is remarkable. He is actually younger than the 2019 Premier Player of College Football award winner Joe Burrow, yet Jackson is making these plays against the best of the best in the world. The sky is the limit for Jackson as he marches into the new decade as the best professional football player on the planet per fans.
“Fans are such a big part of the games, so we wanted to come up with an award that they can be a big part of too,” says Carnell Moore, founder of Premier Players. All the athletes on the ballot are Premier Players, but we let the fans decide who gets the trophy.”
Article by Premier Players