Lamar Jackson’s 2021 projections according to Pro Football Focus

Lamar Jackson, Ravens Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Lamar Jackson, Ravens Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens have received some positive and some not-so-positive grades from Pro Football Focus heading into the 2021 season. One player that has been stuck in the middle as it relates to grading is quarterback Lamar Jackson.

In late June, Jackson was ranked outside the 50 best players in the NFL according to PFF. It seems as though the writers may have had a change of heart.

That is because PFF has Jackson ranked as QB3 entering the 2021 season, at least in terms of fantasy football.

Are Pro Football Focus’ projections for Lamar Jackson realistic?

It’s no surprise that PFF projects Jackson to continue to find success on the ground. He is projected to have 1,004 rushing yards in 2021 which would make it three consecutive seasons in which the former NFL MVP has rushed for over 1,000 yards.

The stat that is the most surprising is what Jackson will do in the passing game. PFF has Jackson projected to throw for 3,790 yards. Jackson has only thrown for 3,000 yards once which came during his 2019 MVP campaign.

The former Louisville star threw for 3,127 yards that season whereas he finished with 2,757 passing yards a year ago.

The Ravens have brought in wide receivers through free agency and the draft to build around Jackson. But it’s hard to believe that his passing yards will go up by 27 percent even with an extra game this season.

Another stat that may have some scratching their heads is Jackson’s touchdown projections. Jackson is projected to have 29 total touchdowns. In each of Jackson’s two seasons as a starter, he has found the end zone over 30 times.

The only time Jackson had fewer than 30 touchdowns was his rookie year in 2018. During the 2018 season, Jackson took over for an injured Joe Flacco in Week 10  before being named the starter moving forward.

With a 17th game added this season, Jackson is highly likely to top 30 total touchdowns, provided he stays healthy. The dual-threat quarterback has more than one weapon in his arsenal when finding the end zone.

At the end of the day, predictions are just that — predictions.

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While some projections seem more realistic than others, I believe Lamar Jackson will surprise the writers at PFF.