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Insider

How the five Heisman contenders project as NFL prospects

The Heisman race is almost settled, but the debate about how the five finalists translate to the NFL is just beginning. Our NFL draft insiders, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, go back and forth on each player -- what they do well, where they can improve and where they could be drafted. Let's dig in.


Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Kiper: Let's get this out of the way: I don't view Jackson as an NFL quarterback prospect at this point. He's an athlete -- a phenomenal one at that -- playing quarterback, but I haven't seen consistent NFL-level passing skills. Jackson has completed only 57.6 percent of his passes this season (54.7 in 2015), and that's a huge red flag for NFL teams. If he can't complete 65 percent of his passes in the ACC, what optimism is there for completing 65 percent of his passes in the NFL?

McShay: I think he has some Michael Vick-type qualities. Jackson's rushing ability is obvious (1,538 yards and 21 TDs on the ground) and he has really good arm strength. He can make any throw you want from a velocity standpoint, but you're right, Mel: Jackson leaves way too many throws on the field right now. (Vick did too, finishing his college career with a 56.0 completion percentage.) Beyond the accuracy issues, the biggest area Jackson needs to improve is in his footwork.