Ranking Josh Allen among the QBs of the AFC before 2022 NFL Draft

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Josh Allen
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens, Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

6. Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)

Another tough evaluation under center, Jackson is by far one of my favorite players to watch in the league. Clearly the top rusher at QB in the game and maybe the best we’ve ever seen — 3,673 rushing yards since 2018, most by a signal-caller in that timeframe — he brings a dynamic only names of legends like Michael Vick and Randall Cunningham can claim.

But the everlasting question with him will be can he piece things together enough in the passing game? Personally, I’ve defended Jackson on this from the jump and will continue to for various reasons.

I will die on this hill; I think Greg Roman is an overrated play-caller. Yes, he’s shown to he can build successful running attacks around dual-threat QBs (Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo). But he has seemed to halt the development of those two players and some could argue the same for Jackson.

Last season, in my opinion, was a bit of an anomaly for Jackson and the Ravens’ offense too. Not only did he lose his top three RBs in the span of a week, two of his top receivers in Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins combined to miss nine games, and he eventually bowed out of the lineup in five of the last eight games of the season.

And no, Jackson did not get hurt making a play running downfield. Rather he was eluding a defender in the pocket.

I think the 2021 numbers for Jackson (16 TD passes, 13 INTs, 2,882 passing yards, 87.0 passer rating, 50.7 QBR, 767 rushing yards) are a microcosm of Baltimore’s biggest issues on offense. Yes, the Ravens have nice pieces with Mark Andrews and Hollywood Brown, but they far too often too much pressure on Jackson.

Did you know that Jackson has led the team in passing and rushing in each of the last three seasons? That sounds cool and all, but this isn’t Madden. The only other players to do that on multiple occasions are Vick and Cam Newton, two players whose careers were cut short due to injuries piling up with their usage as runners.

Jackson has had a lot on his plate during his time as a Raven. But in 2021, things really came to a head. That’s how you get a career-high in picks, the most amount of sacks he’s taken in a season, and his lowest TD total since his rookie year.

And yes, Jackson’s accuracy still needs to improve (career-low 73.3% on-target throws rate, 19.7% bad-throws rate in 2021), but he’s shown he can piece it together in the passing game. Did you see what he did to the Colts in Week 5?

All I’m saying is Baltimore needs to do better by its QB. Because if the Ravens do so, we could see the magical player return that won the 2019 NFL MVP.