We know Lamar Jackson is fast, but his 40-time is something that has been debated since his college days at Louisville. Jackson did not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine prior to the NFL draft, but did offer a bit of an estimate on his time. According to ESPN, the last time Jackson ran the 40 he came in at 4.34 seconds, but the Ravens quarterback offered a caveat.
“I ran it with turf toe, too,” Jackson told ESPN. “So, I don’t know what I really run.”
Jackson was timed at Louisville’s pro day in 2017 and was a full .08 seconds faster than his 2016 time, per the Courier-Journal. Jackson was second only to cornerback Jaire Alexander’s 4.32 on the Louisville team, which is a rarity for a quarterback to run faster than the skill position players.
Jackson Opted Not to Run the 40-Yard Dash at the NFL Combine
Jackson decided not to run the 40 at the NFL combine prior to the 2018 NFL draft. Jackson’s decision was tied to some teams’ skepticism over whether he could play quarterback. When a Chargers scout suggested he run routes with the wide receivers, Jackson opted not to run the 40, per Pro Football Talk.
“So that was the first time I heard it, I was like, ‘What?’ Like he was like, ‘Oh, Lamar are you gonna go out for wide receiver routes?’ Jackson said, per Pro Football Talk. “I was like . . . ‘No . . . I don’t recall saying that, I don’t remember telling you guys I’d go out for receiver routes.’ I’m like, ‘No, quarterback only.’ So that made me not run the 40 and participate in all the other stuff.”
Earlier This Season, Jackson Admitted That He Hated Running the Football
The Ravens quarterback has been trying to prove himself as a passer since the pre-draft process. Jackson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season, but the Ravens signal-caller noted he prefers to pass the ball over using his legs.
“I hate running,” Jackson noted to ESPN. “Only if I have to, but my job is to get the ball to the receivers, the tight ends, running backs. If I have to run, I’ll do it, but I’d rather just sit back and pass it. I like throwing touchdowns instead of running them.”
Jackson may hate to run, but it is one of the things that makes him so dangerous as a quarterback. Heading into Week 9, Jackson rushed for more than 100 yards in three of the Ravens’ seven games. After Jackson rushed for 152 yards against the Bengals, the Ravens quarterback admitted that 90-percent of his rushes came from designed plays. Jackson explained the strategy to NBC Sports’ Peter King.
“We’re just going to do what the defense gives us,” Jackson told me post-game. “The game’s so fast. I’ve got a sharp mind. I really don’t care if I’m running or passing. Just win games.”
“So what percent of your runs today were designed runs, and what percent did you take off because of pressure?” I asked.
“Ninety percent were designed,” he said. “Ten percent I took off on my own.”