Derwin James: It's "Bull Crap" Lamar Jackson Isn't A Top-10 Lock

James, who played against Jackson in college, doesn't think the Heisman Trophy winner is getting enough Draft love

Tiki and Tierney
April 25, 2018 - 6:33 pm

USA Today Images


Despite winning a Heisman Trophy and putting up unbelievable dual-threat numbers at Louisville, Lamar Jackson is not considered one of the elite quarterback options in this year’s NFL Draft, as many analysts rank him below Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and others.

Why is that?

“I don’t know. That’s some bull crap, man, if you ask me,” former Florida State safety Derwin James said on Tiki and Tierney. “He’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever been around or played against. I got to play against him and Watson. Those two guys are unbelievable guys. Lamar, I don’t think people give him enough credit as a passer. If you look at the numbers and what he put on film, he drives defensive coordinators crazy. I feel like he’s always a guy that you got to keep your eye on. You can’t play man against him because he’s going to run. If you drop into zone, he’s good enough to make the throws. He gave me a lot of headaches, man.”

Jackson threw for more than 9,000 yards and ran for more than 4,000 yards during an electric three-year career at Louisville. He is 6-2, 216 pounds – essentially the exact size as James.

“Me and him are the same height almost, but he’s strong, man,” James said. “When you do tackle him or when he do try to make a move on you – I hit him a couple of times with some force and he just kind of shaked it off. He’s a tough player, man. If you look on film, man, we got a lot of good battles. I tried to really bring it to him, and he like shakes it off. I’m like, ‘Man, I got to do it again.’ But he’s a dog, man. He’s a great player, man. I don’t think people give him enough credit. If you ask me, man, he’s one of the best quarterbacks in this draft. I’d take him on my team any day of the week.”

James, a projected first-round draft pick, also weighed in on his former coach Jimbo Fisher, who left Florida State for Texas A&M in December.

Some Seminoles fans weren’t happy about Fisher’s exit.

“People are kind of all over the place,” James said. “Some people don’t like him. To me, I feel like he made a business decision. He did what he had to do. He has a family. I feel like he’s always been a great coach that I can lean on and he always made me better as a player. I don’t have anything against his decision. He made the decision. I have nothing but respect for him, and we still have a great relationship to this day.”

As for the draft, James will be happy to play for any team, but it would be nice if Tampa Bay nabbed him at No. 7 overall.

“I’ve envisioned myself a couple times playing for them,” said James, a Florida native. “I ain’t going to lie. It’s close to home, hometown, and I’m big on my family, so my family will get to watch me play a lot. There’s a couple other spots, too. Really, to me, it really doesn’t matter, man.”

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