One of the least mentioned holes on the Detroit Lions‘ roster is backup quarterback. A Michigan native could fill the void via the 2019 NFL Draft.
Norton Shores is nearly 200 miles apart from Motown. Tyree Jackson, who hails from the west side city of Michigan, is in the cross-hairs of the Detroit Lions.
Just recently, the Lions reportedly visited Jackson at his alma mater of Buffalo. This wasn’t the only time both parties have met either. He’s even played at Ford Field already, the 2018 MAC Championship game.
Beside the obvious size intrigue (6-foot-7, 249 pounds), the former Bulls passer is wildly talented. Throwing ability that’s off the charts and excellent athleticism has put the red-shirt junior in a category of his own among the other quarterbacks of this draft class.
As a passer, Jackson won’t wow you with consistent, pinpoint accuracy (just 55.8% completion rate for his career). What’s astonishing is how seemingly effortless the ball leaves his hands. From any platform or angle, he can make all the throws. He loves the deep ball (might explain his sub-par completion percentage) and can get the ball out quick with great velocity.
An added bonus is the marvelous movement skills in and out of the pocket as well as taking off downfield when need be. Over his three years as a starter, he’s totaled 16 touchdowns using his feet.
Despite the talent, the stats and availability are less than ideal. Jackson has thrown a modest 6,999 yards, 49 touchdowns over his career. The turnovers were too high (29 interceptions, five lost fumbles) and he only started one whole season (2018). Coming from a weaker conference (Mid-American, MAC) hurts his stock slightly but the upside is tantalizing.
Rawness to his game makes Tyree Jackson an ideal candidate to sit and learn behind a veteran quarterback, like Matthew Stafford for example. The Detroit Lions would instantly upgrade their backup spot and could find their starter of the somewhat distant future by taking this polarizing prospect.