Lamar Jackson thought for sure he’d be selected sooner than the final pick of the first round of last month’s NFL Draft.
But after waiting and waiting, he finally heard from the Baltimore Ravens, who traded down to the 32nd choice to grab the former Louisville standout.
‘It was overwhelming’
“Before they did (make the pick), I didn’t think I was going to wait that long,” Jackson told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “But I was hoping I was going to get picked. I was looking pretty good, with my grey suit on. The Ravens traded back and I got that phone call. It was overwhelming. I’m just happy to be a Raven right now.”
Jackson was equally elated with the warm welcome he received when he first arrived at the Ravens’ facility and had a chance to meet his new teammates. He was particularly pleased with his interaction with fellow quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Robert Griffin III, and his first chance to work with coach John Harbaugh.
‘To actually put on the Ravens helmet and be coached by John Harbaugh, a Super Bowl-winning coach, it’s just extraordinary for me’
“Coming in humble, just ready to learn as much as I could from Joe Flacco, RGIII,” Jackson said. “It was pretty cool for me, always wanting to be in the NFL as a little kid. To actually put on the Ravens helmet and be coached by John Harbaugh, a Super Bowl-winning coach, it’s just extraordinary for me. I’m just having fun with it. He said I threw the ball very well. I said I can improve a lot more. I’m just ready to get back out there and learn more and do more.”
Jackson didn’t find his initial dose of the Ravens’ playbook to be overly challenging to learn. He credits working in a pro-style offense at Louisville with helping to prepare him well for the NFL.
‘It’s just the terminology part of it, just remembering the names and where guys are going to be on certain plays’
“I wouldn’t say it’s hard,” Jackson said. “I had the same passing concepts and stuff like that at the University of Louisville. Coach Bobby Petrino did a good job of that, just getting me ready for that. It’s just the terminology part of it, just remembering the names and where guys are going to be on certain plays and stuff like that. But other than the playbook and concepts and passing reads and stuff like, it’s the same to me.”
Once the Ravens finish with offseason workouts next month, Jackson knows he will just be beginning to work. He intends to spend the weeks leading up to the start of training camp studying and working on his quarterbacking mechanics.
‘It’s different drop-backs for different plays’
“Just watch a lot of film, learn what I’m supposed to be doing at the quarterback position, trying to get the playbook down pat as much as I can before the preseason even starts,” Jackson said. “Work on my arm a lot, just work my drop-backs for this system. It’s different from my college system. It’s different drop-backs for different plays and stuff like that.”
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