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Will Lamar Jackson Change the Quarterback Position?

The History of NFL Quarterbacks

Throughout the NFL’s long history, the quarterbacks are primarily known for their passing. They’re the head of the offense or the general on the field. Quarterbacks call the plays, read defenses, change the plays at the line and making their throws. Quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees have mastered this. Quarterbacks like them have changed the position with their master-mind knowledge on the field and performing well in big-time moments. With their comebacks, ability to get the ball in the receiver's hands from any spot on the field and win ball games. This is the seemingly ideal NFL quarterback or is it?

The Traditional NFL Quarterback

The common style of quarterback is considered to be a “pocket passer.” Just like the legends mentioned Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees have played their entire career. They are all pocket passers. This has always been the traditional quarterback in the NFL. Quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, and Philip Rivers play this brand of quarterbacking as well.

The Rise of Scrambling Quarterbacks

As of recent, we have seen the rise of “mobile” quarterbacks. They are known for making plays by extending out plays by scrambling out of the pocket. Legendary quarterbacks like Fran Tarkenton, Randall
Cunningham and John Elway played this style of a “scrambling” quarterback. They can still make their throws in the pocket. Today we see quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Josh Allen, and Deshaun Watson play this style. Today the scrambling quarterback is the most common it's ever been in the NFL.

The Beginning of Two-Way Quarterbacks

Now we are seeing the term “two-way” or “dual-threat” quarterbacks. The first major quarterback that introduced this style of play was Michael Vick. He’s notorious for his running ability and incredible arm. He could run outrun defenders and make them miss in the open field. Even rushing for 1,039 yards in 2006 while playing for the Atlanta Falcons. Many viewers were wowed by this play on the field playing with a combo of running and throwing. Recently we’ve seen quarterbacks like Cam Newton, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson mirror the same type of play under center. With their throws and running ability falling under the category of a two-way quarterback.

Lamar Jackson’s Potential Impact on the NFL

In the 2019 season, we have seen Lamar Jackson take the league by storm. With his passing and running skills. Keeping defenses on their toes every play. Jackson and the Ravens have shredded defenses this season. Jackson does not need to throw 40 or 50 times a game to win.

He’s running the ball like a Running Back as a quarterback. The Ravens have become unstoppable with getting to utilize Lamar Jackson with his running ability.

Now how will Lamar Jackson change the future of the quarterback position? I believe there is a strong possibility. The quarterback position has changed a lot in the past 20 years. As we have seen with scrambling quarterbacks. There’s no reason Jackson could not do the same. Just like Drew Brees opened the door for shorter quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfield, and Kyler Murray. His impact may even change coaching offensively and defensively. Without a doubt, he’ll influence the drafting of quarterbacks. We’ll hear “is he the next Lamar Jackson?” in the upcoming draft classes for many years.

Today’s Styles of Quarterbacking

  • Gunslingers - Examples are Patrick
    Mahomes, Matthew Stafford, and Ben
  • Scramblers - Examples are Russell Wilson, Josh Allen and
    Deshaun Watson
  • Pocket Passers - Examples are Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan and
    Philip Rivers
  • Field Generals - Examples are Tom Brady, Drew Brees and
    Aaron Rodgers
  • Dual Threat - Examples are Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton, and Kyler

The Future of NFL Quarterbacks

In the next 10 years, we could have many different styles of quarterbacking. It will be fun to see various styles developed over the next decade. We’ll see how Lamar Jackson’s impact will influence the quarterbacks after him. Even the future of drafting and coaching in the NFL. Lamar Jackson may become the next NFL’s game-changer.


About the author

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Currently studying Sports Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing at the University of Kentucky. A Brewers, Broncos, and Hornets lifelong loyalist. I’ve enjoyed sports and their athletes from a young age, leading me to a passion for telling stories through those athletes.

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