Bill Belichick says Lamar Jackson has ‘more than answered’ pre-draft questions

Belichick and the Patriots face Jackson and the Ravens on Sunday.

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in action during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins. AP Photo/Nick Wass

Bill Belichick and the Patriots had a chance to draft Lamar Jackson in the first round of the 2018 Draft, but opted instead to take Sony Michel at No. 31. Jackson went one pick later at 32.

A lot of factors went into that decision, which looks bad in 2022’s light. The Patriots ultimately traded Michel to the Rams in 2021 for a pair of draft picks, while Jackson has molded himself into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

On Wednesday, four days ahead of the Patriots’ home opener vs. the Ravens, Belichick was asked about the time he spent with Jackson in Foxborough before the draft.


“Great visit,” Belichick said. “Spent a lot of time with him. Really interesting guy.”

During the pre-draft process, Jackson’s strengths were obvious — speed, arm strength, vision, mobility and toughness among others — but many talent evaluators questioned his ability to pass out of the pocket accurately.

Has he answered all of those questions?

“Without a doubt,” Belichick said. “He’s the type of player that’s an MVP-type candidate. I think he’s more than answered them.

“Wait till we see what his contract is. That’ll answer them.”

Jackson is an unrestricted free agent after this season. Given his status as the face of the franchise in Baltimore — as well as his MVP season in 2019 — the Ravens will likely have to open their wallets generously to keep him in town.


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