Allen is getting No. 1 overall pick projections for the 2018 NFL Draft while Jackson might fall out of the first round amid suggestion he should move to receiver.
Oh yes, it’s draft season.
While Allen and Jackson seem like sneakily similar prospects, they’re getting totally different treatment. And it’s hard to say if that’s due to smoke screens, bad analysis or underlying racism.
So I’ll ask: Why isn’t Allen getting tips to try out tight end? Think it’s ludicrous? Well, it’s only slightly more ludicrous than suggesting Jackson should try out receiver when he’s one of the best quarterbacks in a top-heavy draft class.
I’m tired pic.twitter.com/bRIe9CTz6Z
— Brandon Howard (@bhoward_81) February 19, 2018
The reason Allen doesn’t get suggestions to move to tight end is that he’s got an absolute cannon arm. He can hit a goal post from his knees. You don’t simply waste that kind of talent by putting him at tight end. And that’s fair. So then why would anyone (looking at you, Bill Polian) suggest Jackson needs to move to receiver immediately?
Why waste Jackson’s tremendous throwing talents? He can do this:
If Polian is going to sit on ESPN and tell the world that Jackson needs to move to receiver like Pryor — and apparently forget Pryor’s name and age during his argument — then perhaps he’s missing the opportunity to suggest Allen take a swing at tight end.
Jackson and Allen both lack consistency and accuracy. They both have shown jaw-dropping talent coupled with jaw-dropping errors. And while Allen underwhelmed as a rusher (and passer) in 2017, he was the team’s second-leading rusher with 523 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016.
Say it with me: Tight end!
I’m kidding, of course. But the point is hopefully becoming clear.
Jackson doesn’t have Allen’s arm. He’s not 235 pounds like Allen. He’s not 6-foot-5 like Allen. And he’s not white like Allen.
But at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Jackson’s frame isn’t much more problematic than the slender frame of Josh Rosen, who is 6-foot-4, 218 pounds. Jackson also has plenty of the necessary arm talent (as shown above). Unlike Allen, he’s not in the same league as Jay Cutler, JaMarcus Russell and Kyle Boller. But Jackson can sling the ball 50 yards with a quick flick of his wrist.
Jackson had a 17-9 record over last two years of his college career. Allen was 16-9 over last two years. Jackson’s career completion percentage was 57 percent in college. Allen’s was 56.2 percent. In 2017, Jackson’s interception percentage was 2.3, and Allen’s was 2.2. From that standpoint, they’re quite similar. But here’s where Jackson begins to take the lead.
In 2017, Allen threw for 1,812 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. In 2017, Jackson threw for 3,660 yards, 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He added 1,600 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
This isn’t to take anything away from Allen, who is a strong NFL prospect. This is just to say that Jackson is nearly as strong a prospect. And it would be shocking to see a suggestion that either player should change positions.
Just because there isn’t a strong NFL comparison for Jackson doesn’t mean he can’t play the quarterback position. So let’s pause the Pryor comparisons. Let’s pause all comparison. And let’s let Jackson be Jackson. Let’s see what he can do at quarterback, where his earning power and staying power in the NFL could be significantly greater than at receiver.
And let’s hope both Allen and Jackson complete more of their passes and find better accuracy in the NFL.