2020 NFL Draft: Nebraska cornerback Lamar Jackson scouting report

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images /
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This Nebraska senior shares the same name as Baltimore’s starting quarterback. Read about how Lamar Jackson is a potential riser in the 2020 NFL Draft.

We as humans love to look for patterns. The instinct to look for parallels in the world is hard-wired into our subconscious at birth. It is part of our personal development, as we learn cause and effect at an early age as a survival instinct, and we draw conclusions based on these observations. We are drawn to symmetry and commonality and look for meaning in that similarity, even if it is superficial.

So when I heard that there was a cornerback from the Nebraska Cornhuskers that had the same name as Lamar Jackson, the hottest quarterback of the 2019 regular season, that was going to be in the 2020 NFL Draft, I was drawn to this prospect.

I’m talking about Nebraska’s outside cornerback Lamar Jackson of course.

In some ways, both players have similarities in common. They both came into their draft classes seriously underestimated, as Nebraska’s Jackson is currently projected as a late-day two/day three cornerback in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback Jackson in 2018 was considered an unknown prospect, even though the young quarterback had won the Heisman Trophy in 2016.

Lamar wasn’t even the Ravens first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, as that pick went to tight end Hayden Hurst from South Carolina. Hurst wrapped up his second year in the league with just three touchdowns and 519 yards across two seasons. Meanwhile, Jackson racked up 36 touchdowns in 2019 and had 12 rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons.

Meanwhile in Nebraska, Jackson has had a solid senior season and has the experience of having played four seasons for the Cornhuskers on his resume. Jackson had 13 tackles against ranked opponents in 2019, along with 12 passes deflected in 2019 and had the best season of his young career.

At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Jackson is bigger and taller than Kristian Fulton and Jeffrey Okudah. Two players who are considered the best cornerbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft and are projected as first-round picks. Jackson also had more tackles than Fulton or Okudah, and had similar statistics in interceptions and passes defended in 2019.

The strength of schedule for these three must be considered before comparing their statistics, and admittedly, Jackson was playing much weaker opponents than Fulton or Okudah in 2019. But it is still interesting that the three could all have similar numbers in size and performance and still be projected as widely apart in the draft as they are.

In this article, we will explore Jackson’s overall time in Nebraska. We’ll check into his background and see how he ended up in Nebraska. After that, we’ll see how his cornerback skills improved while in Nebraska and review his play on game footage, exploring his strengths and weaknesses headed into the Combine and the 2020 NFL Draft.

To wrap the article up, I will project which teams in the NFL will be most interested in the young man and will show what impact he would bring to the individual teams.

Jackson is far more interesting than the fact he shares a name with Baltimore’s quarterback and top rushing yards producer in 2019. Jackson had a senior season in Nebraska that showed he could be a solid and dependable cornerback in the NFL.

There is a very good chance that Jackson could move up on NFL draft boards this winter if he shines in his Combine and Pro Day performances. His size and performances in Nebraska show a cornerback who could be a sleeper in the 2020 NFL Draft and play a serious role on an NFL roster if a team is serious about continuing his development at the next level.

Let’s take a look at Jackson’s background and see what led him to the Nebraska Cornhuskers.