The Ravens struck gold with one Lamar Jackson, so why not draft another?
That’s the feeling of Nebraska cornerback and 2020 NFL Draft prospect Lamar Jackson, anyway.
“Baltimore is a great place. Lamar Jackson at quarterback, he’s going to lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl, and at the end of the day, I want to win,” Nebraska’s Jackson said on Glenn Clark Radio Jan. 23. “I want to be successful. It’s a team sport. Him at quarterback and me at corner, I feel like there’s going to be some money in marketing.
“It’d be a great thing just to go against each other in practice, all types of things. He can have the fame. At the end of the day, I’m trying to care of my family and myself and eventually I’ll be able to build my own legacy. He’s doing it now, so no knock on him. I just want to get in the door, just take it from there.”
Nebraska’s Jackson no doubt has a chance to make an impact in the NFL as well, whether it’s in Baltimore or elsewhere. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, he’ll have a chance to match up well with some of the league’s bigger receivers on the perimeter. In 40 games with Nebraska from 2016-2019, he recorded 123 tackles, two sacks, five interceptions, 22 passes defensed and three forced fumbles.
Jackson saved his best season for last, making 40 tackles, picking off three passes and forcing two fumbles as a senior in 2019. His best statistical effort of the season came against Ohio State, a team which competed in this year’s College Football Playoff. Though the Huskers got blown out by the Buckeyes, Jackson had four tackles and an interception.
At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Feb. 23-March 2, Jackson will be out to prove he not only has the size to match up with NFL receivers but the speed, too. Jackson, who was a high school quarterback in California, is looking forward to the 40-yard dash, which he called “the money drill.”
“When you’re a bigger cornerback, you get [the] stereotypical knocks like, ‘Oh, is he fast? Can he transition well? Can he flip his hips?’ But at the end of the day, I’ve got a big offensive background, so a lot of my athleticism came from the offensive side,” Jackson said. “So when I kind of made my switch to defense, a lot of my hip fluidity and all that good stuff kind of came with me. So for the most part, if you see my game, that’s what makes me special. You don’t really get ’em like me every day, especially at this high of a level.”
Jackson, expected to be a mid-round pick, discussed sharing the same name as the Ravens’ quarterback:
“It’s pretty much one of those things where even when I was in high school, I pretty much look at my name on Google for example and I see another dude. He’s in Florida, a kid that went viral, a quarterback at the same time I was playing quarterback. At first there was really nothing to it, but of course as the other Lamar Jackson on his football journey, he became a star. He won the Heisman. He became who he was. It’s one of those things where I’m just like, ‘The magic might just be in the name.’ He can have all the fame — he’s scoring touchdowns, he’s the quarterback — but for the most part I’m going to be in the league, too. I’m going to be living just as well.”
On what kind of quarterback he was before making the switch to cornerback:
“I wouldn’t say I was like [Baltimore’s] Lamar Jackson, but I was definitely a good quarterback. I was a dual-threat quarterback. I was capable of doing it all. I kind of wanted to play quarterback at the next level, but when it all panned out, I kind of decided to take the DB route, which I’m thankful for. It’s been going OK. I’m a fan of the other Lamar Jackson. He’s amazing, what he’s doing. He’s young, he’s only going to get better. I’m going to have to deal with this for awhile.”
On being confused for the Ravens’ quarterback on social media:
“You can probably just say on social media I get tagged and a whole lot of appreciation, tweeting at me, ‘You’re amazing, you’re great.’ But then one of the fans will be like, ‘Wrong Lamar Jackson.’ Back in the day, when I got certain stuff, just depending on where the fans are coming from, I kind of already know. I’m like, ‘Wow. They thought I was him.’ My [twitter handle] and stuff like that has ’21’ in it. All you have to do is really click it and see I’m a totally different person.”
On wanting to swap jerseys:
“Regardless of if I’m on the team, we’re going to have to get the jersey swap or something because that’s just dope. It’s got to happen. It’s just one of those things where the name’s spelled the same, we’re here. It’s just one of those things it’s going to be natural. I’m going to for sure seek out that jersey.”
For more from Jackson, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of NU Communications