Lamar Jackson was taken with the last first round selection in the 2018 draft. Less than two years after that night, Jackson received a unanimous MVP award.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was named the 2019 NFL MVP on Saturday at NFL Honors in downtown Miami. Jackson earned all 50 first-place votes, making him only the second unaimous MVP in NFL history (Tom Brady, 2010).
Jackson was a source of pure spectating delight in 2019, shredding opposing defenses while leading the league in touchdowns with 36 passing scores and seven trips to the end zone on the ground. Jackson threw for 3,127 yards and posted a 113.3 passer rating, with the latter mark exceeding the average rating of an MVP quarterback (107.8) en route to the AFC’s top seed.
That’s not all, of course. Jackson rushed for 1,206 yards, breaking Michael Vick’s single-season record for a quarterback in the process and obliterating the average mark for an MVP quarterback (131). He more than tripled the average mark for rushing touchdowns with his seven scores.
In addition to being the second unanimous selection, Jackson becomes the youngest ever NFL MVP. That’s a hell of a start to a career, and everyone who openly wondered whether Jackson would make a better receiver than a QB at the NFL level should feel incredibly stupid. (To be clear, they should have felt that way at the time, and then continued to feel stupid throughout the intervening months. Just a constant state of stupidity.)
Jackson was the fifth quarterback taken in that draft, with Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen all taken in the top ten selections. Whoops.