While a prototypical NFL quarterback is typically a strong-armed pocket-passer, Jackson’s essential qualities are quite different. As any NFL fan knows, Jackson excels by utilizing his mobility and athleticism to keep defenses in check. In layman’s terms, he could juke a jackrabbit.
One of the biggest questions ever to come from the NFL Combine is what Jackson would have clocked in at during his 40-yard dash. Unfortunately, the Louisville product opted against running the drill during the combine, leaving fans wondering just how closely he compares to other speedsters in the league.
Lamar Jackson 40 Time
While Jackson didn’t run the 40 at the NFL Combine or Louisville’s Pro Day, fear not, there are timed runs of his 40-yard dash.
Back in 2017, ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft (where Jackson was selected as the last pick of the first round), Jackson ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash during a “Speed Day” hosted by Louisville. When asked about his time, Jackson told ESPN that he had been dealing with turf toe, which could have impeded his pace. If Jackson’s claims are valid, imagine the time he’d log while running at 100 percent.
His recorded time clocks close to some of the fastest documented 40-yard dash times among active players from players at all positions. His impressive score clocks in just .02 seconds slower than Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown and current Miami Dolphins and former Houston Texans wideout Will Fuller V.
While the former Heisman Trophy winner showcased otherworldly speed during the drill, he was still a full tenth of a second behind Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross’ Combine record of 4.22 seconds.
Among quarterbacks, Jackson is the clear-cut winner. Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes logged a 4.80-second 40-yard dash, while former MVP Russell Wilson recorded a 4.55. Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, now with the New England Patriots, logged a 4.59-second 40-yard dash in 2011.
Las Vegas Raiders backup Marcus Mariota recorded a swift 4.52. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has no officially registered 40-yard dash. Still, he claims to have run it in 4.38 seconds, just shy of Jackson’s blazing pace.
Lamar Jackson vs. Michael Vick 40-Yard Dash
The comparison every NFL fan is eager to know is the speed battle between the Ravens quarterback and legendary dual-threat quarterback and former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick.
Before the Atlanta Falcons took Michael Vick with the first overall pick in 2001, the Virginia Tech standout registered an elite 40-yard dash time of 4.33 seconds, which, yes, would have beat Lamar by .01 seconds.
Vick’s blazing speed didn’t fade away after his last seasons in the NFL, which he spent with the Jets and Steelers, respectively. In 2021, a 40-year-old Vick took another shot at the 40-yard dash and recorded a time of 4.72 seconds. That’s faster than the time clocked by a 22-year-old Josh Allen, who posted a 4.76 and Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott’s time of 4.79 seconds.
Lamar Jackson NFL Career
After a sensational Heisman Trophy-winning college football career as a Louisville football team member, Jackson was drafted with the 32nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. After an injury to Joe Flacco in 2018, head coach John Harbaugh named Jackson the new starting quarterback of the Ravens.
Throughout his three years in the NFL, the Florida native has thrown 68 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions. He’s also racked up 2,906 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2019 when he also won the MVP and was a First-Team All-Pro selectee. The 24-year-old has played in four playoff games, managing to win his first one against the Tennessee Titans last year.
His blazing 40-yard dash speed is a big reason why he’s been so successful.