Lamar Jackson Starting QB in 2019–according to Bill Barnwell of espn.com

by Bill Barnwell, ESPN.com

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

When he should be inserted into the lineup: Week 1, 2019.Jackson is more pro-ready than some observers might have you believe, given that he was playing in an NFL offense for Bobby Petrino at Louisville. Just about everyone agrees that Jackson needs to work on his footwork inside the pocket, which one hopes should improve the accuracy of a quarterback who completed 57 percent of his passes at Louisville.

The Ravens can move on from Flacco and free up $18.5 million under their 2019 cap by designating the former Super Bowl winner as a post-June 1 release, so unless Flacco excels under the threat of Jackson this season, the 2019 offseason seems like the logical time for John Harbaugh & Co. to make the change.

When he will be inserted into the lineup: Week 1, 2019. The Ravens moving up to draft Jackson shows just how exhausted this franchise is of the Flacco era, a run that has yielded just one playoff win since that Super Bowl victory following the 2012 season. It’s also difficult to see Flacco playing poorly enough for Harbaugh to make an in-season change. Flacco’s relatively clean injury history — nine healthy seasons with a 10th ended by a torn ACL — also makes it unlikely that the job will open up for Jackson.

It’s always possible that Jackson excels for a few snaps and the Ravens turn to him in the middle of a losing streak. Baltimore does have a stretch with three consecutive road games and four away games in five weeks from Weeks 4-8, followed by a home game against the Steelers. If they hit their bye with a sub-.500 record, maybe Harbaugh makes a change and hopes Jackson somehow saves Baltimore’s season. Otherwise, the most plausible time for a change is next March.

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