Imagine what the narrative would have been surrounding former No. 1 pick Michael Vick had he entered the NFL in the social media age. We’re talking hot take after hot take. As the first player off the board to the Atlanta Falcons back in 2001, Vick transcended the quarterback position. He was the first of a new breed of athletic signal callers who could do as much damage with their feet as through the air.
Fast forward nearly two decades, and former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson is currently being given the hot take treatment. It started when Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian indicated that he views the Louisville product as more of a receiver than a quarterback at the next level. Needless to say, reactions to that take weren’t positive.
Vick himself is now engaging in the Jackson debate. More than defending the possible first-round pick, Vick sees a lot of himself in Jackson.
“I could not believe what I had seen. I could not believe the things he was able to do — It was a spitting image of me,” Vick said, via NFL Media. “And the only thing that came to my mind was this kid is five times better than I was when I was at Virginia Tech, only because he was going against Florida State. I remember how difficult it was for me to make plays against Florida State. What effort had to be put into getting first downs, scoring touchdowns.”
The two are comparable in terms of athleticism. Though, Vick stood at just 6-foot and weighed a hair over 200 pounds entering the NFL. For his part, Jackson is listed at 6-foot-3 heading into next week’s NFL Scouting Combine.
When it comes to what position he views Jackson playing at the next level, Vick provided a clear explanation.
“He’s a quarterback. I’ve been hearing about things about him playing receiver, they’ll probably say he needs to play defensive back next,” Vick said. “But listen, the kid is 6-3, 215 pounds. But for anybody to say Lamar Jackson is a receiver, I don’t think they understand the quarterback position.”
That’s a pretty big shot in the direction of Polian right there.
Vick knows full well what it takes to be a good quarterback in the NFL and change the minds of those stuck in the old ways of thinking. When he was selected first overall by Atlanta, some did question whether the former Virginia Tech star had what it took to be a starter-caliber quarterback at the next level. Vick responded by earning three Pro Bowl appearances in his first four seasons before off-field issues got the best of him.
He’s surely someone we should listen to when it comes to something like this.