A likely Lamar Jackson 40 time is so fast, he simply lets the film (and others) speak to his otherworldly athleticism. And at the 2018 NFL combine, he made a statement of a different kind. By electing not to participate in any speed or agility drills with the receivers, he threw with his quarterback peers and declared himself a quarterback who can thrill.
What is Lamar Jackson’s 40 time?
Lamar Jackson did not showcase his explosiveness at the NFL Scouting Combine 2018. Despite winning the Heisman trophy, Jackson was considered by some to be a wide receiver ‘at the next level’. And he refused to take part in any drill that might misrepresent his NFL intentions. Instead, he suggested a 4.34 40-yard dash from a 2017 Lousiville training camp.
“4.34, I ran it with turf toe, too, so I don’t know what I really run.”Lamar Jackson
Later Jackson revealed he was planning to run the 40 but backed out after hearing the wide receiver considerations. The Ravens, obviously undeterred by their film study, didn’t need to document the track skills of a quarterback who obliterated the competition for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons at Louisville.
Speed kills in every combine dash
In the hype before the draft, some teams were worried that Jackson’s college production wouldn’t extend to the NFL.
He just needed a team to take a chance on him. And the Ravens weren’t letting Jackson slip by. Now the reigning league MVP has produced the fastest in-game run of his stellar, young career. In Week 6 of the 2020 season, Jackson reached 21.01 miles per hour on a 37-yard touchdown scamper.
“He’s like a roadrunner. His feet go so fast. His vision and his feet are always on the same page. He’s out there just gliding. Some people are built like that. He has some different hamstrings or tendons down there.”Brandon Carr
Players and fans marvel at his excellent burst and the ability to completely break ankles, calls, and hearts in half. Coaches and GMs, like that he might just decide to stop on a dime and throw a dart 60 yards down the field.
Is Lamar Jackson the best dual-threat quarterback in NFL history
A generation of young quarterbacks is playing a new game. Mobility is no longer an asset for them. It is a prerequisite. And the old rules don’t apply anymore.
Take the most critical position in the sport, and remake it in your image. Lamar Jackson over the last few years. DeShaun Watson when healthy. And Cam Newton before them. They’re not just free-ranging running quarterbacks. They are dynamic players on the move, keeping their eyes downfield in every game situation. Always looking to extend plays on the run and when scrambling from the defense.
- Deshaun Watson – 4.67
- Rusell Wilson – 4.55
- Michael Vick – 4.25
- Kyler Murray – 4.38
- Cam Newton – 4.59
Jackson and company are some of the most elite athletes in all sport. There’s no reason to question that. And the explosive plays and speed present issues from the moment they step on the field. Whether a designed or improvisational play, dual-threat quarterbacks avoid pressure with the propensity to make the fastest players look silly. But mobility and common sense keep quarterbacks upright.
The GOAT challenges Jackson to 40-Yard ‘dash’
First the Cheetah and now the Goat — although the latter is not even close. Brady’s 40 time is both a testament to longevity at the quarterback position and a calling card for those of us lacking straight-line speed.
After Jackson set another new record, Brady issued a tongue-in-cheek challenge for the young quarterback. Brady challenged Jackson to a different kind of field position game on Twitter, though there’s a small catch:
Me vs Lamar, 40 Yard Dash on natural grass but he has to wear rollerblades. Who’s buying the PPV?— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) December 13, 2019
There are few humans on the face of the planet that can move like Lamar Jackson. Bolt’s 9.58-second 100-meter dash comes to mind.
But Jackson’s running ability is not the only reason he has lit up every level of football and shredded defenses over the last five years of college and pro ball. He’s a winning quarterback and one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in all of football.
Here’s to Jackson challenging the next generation to a race in 2035. Maybe we’ll see a 3.99-second 40-yard dash.