Lamar Jackson: An analysis by passing depth

2MD9MFE Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates with tight end Mark Andrews after catching a third quarter touchdown pass to in an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

  • New offense in Baltimore: Lamar Jackson has a chance to thrive under new Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who should unleash Jackson's passing prowess more regularly that in the past.
  • Jackson thrives in the intermediate part of the field: There are just 11 quarterbacks with 100-plus attempts at 10-19 yards that have earned a higher PFF passing grade than Jackson’s 92.4. His 7.1% big-time throw rate ranks sixth while his 5.0% turnover-worthy play rate is the 16th-best mark, too.
  • Effective but can still improve throwing deep: Jackson has been fine, if a little inconsistent, as a deep passer. His 91.1 PFF passing grade ranks 25th among the 37 quarterbacks that attempted 100-plus passes at that depth since 2019.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

With training camps due to start this month, it won’t be long until we get our first live looks at the new Baltimore Ravens offense under Todd Monken, and its effect on Lamar Jackson. The expectation is that we’re going to see Jackson pass more often, so with that, we’ve decided to take a look at Jackson’s success throwing the ball to various depths over the past four seasons.


Behind or at the line of scrimmage

Jackson ranks just 24th in the league with 234 passing attempts behind or at the line of scrimmage since the start of the 2019 season, including the playoffs. Seven of those have resulted in touchdowns, tied for 13th in the league, while his 69.3 PFF passing grade was tied for 31st. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that grade differences are negligible on throws like this, as all but three of the 45 quarterbacks that attempted 100 passes behind the line of scrimmage in that span earned a 65.0-plus PFF passing grade — Daniel Jones leading them all at 78.6.


1-9 yards downfield

Jackson ranks just 24th among the 60 quarterbacks with 100 or more attempts at this depth since 2019 with a 74.1 PFF passing grade. He has thrown 16 interceptions, tied for third-most, with 11 turnover-worthy plays (ied for 16th), so he has been on the wrong end of some turnover luck here. This is one of the biggest areas of opportunity for Jackson under Monken. If, as expected, Monken spreads this offense out more, Jackson should see more space in the middle of the field than he has under Greg Roman's heavier offense.

Lamar Jackson by passing depth table
Depth (yards) Attempts PFF Passing Grade BTT Rate TWP Rate%
Behind/At LOS 234 69.3 0.0% 0.0%
1-9 689 74.1 0.0% 1.6%
10-19 322 92.4 7.1% 5.0%
20+ 227 91.1 26.4% 8.4%

10-19 yards downfield

There are just 11 quarterbacks with 100-plus attempts at this depth that have earned a higher PFF passing grade than Jackson’s 92.4. His 7.1% big-time throw rate ranks sixth while his 5.0% turnover-worthy play rate is the 16th-best mark, too. The exciting thing for Ravens fans is that this is an area of the field where Jackson is at his best as a passer, and he’s going to get to throw passes to better receivers here in 2023 with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers joining a hopefully fully healthy Rashod Bateman.


20-plus yards downfield

Jackson has been fine, if a little inconsistent, as a deep passer. His 91.1 PFF passing grade ranks 25th among the 37 quarterbacks that attempted 100-plus passes at that depth since 2019. His 26.4% big-time throw rate ranks 25th and his 8.4% turnover-worthy play rate ranks 21st. Jackson has lost 11 completions on deep passes to drops in that span, tied for the eighth most, but even on film, you can see that the misses as a passer sometimes as well. Nevertheless, this is an area where having his best receiving corps since entering the league will help. Flowers can win downfield, coming off a season where he ranked 11th among all FBS receivers with 500 yards on receptions 20-plus yards downfield, and we know what Beckham is capable of in terms of spectacular catches.

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