NFL Insider Calls Taysom Hill a "Bigger Lamar Jackson"


Taysom Hill has been a hot topic this offseason, but it hasn't been for the same reason as other big-name quarterbacks.

It's not like Tom Brady, whose departure from New England made massive headlines. It's not like Cam Newton, who now could be set to become a backup quarterback somewhere on his road back to stardom.

No, Hill is a different case, because no one really seems to be quite sure what to make of him. Is he a quarterback capable of leading a franchise at some point in his career? Will he always be a dual-threat weapon, helpful in allowing an offense to utilize creative sets and play calls? Is he more of a tight end for life?

Even after the Saints decided to bring him back on a two-year $21 million extension, fans weren't quite sure what to make of it. That's not exactly starting quarterback money, especially if he's the guy looking to assume the role if Brees retires after 2020, but it's also not a cheap rental price. It's certainly a lot more than the Saints are paying former Bucs starter Jameis Winston, who signed on with the team for $1.1 million after being paid nearly $21 million in 2019.

So, what is he?

Many analysts have offered their takes, but none have been as much of a stunner as the take delivered by NFL insider Jay Glazer on Wednesday.

"No smokescreen, he's the guy," Glazer said. "I think Sean [Payton] was always hoping to unleash him on the league without anyone seeing him before but now we've seen it with Lamar Jackson. He's a bigger Lamar Jackson."

Okay, okay. Let's break this down, one step at a time.

"Bigger" is accurate. Both guys stand at 6'2", but Hill comes in 10 pounds heavier at 222 lbs. And you can see that size in the way that he plays. Again, his primary position to this point has been as a tight end/wide receiver, and so his build doesn't necessarily reflect that of the typical quarterback.

But comparing him to Lamar Jackson is the more interesting part of Glazer's analysis. For as athletic and versatile as Taysom Hill has proven to be, he hasn't quite done enough throughout his NFL career to prove that he can be a franchise quarterback that leads his team to a 14-2 record, breaks the single-season rushing record at the position, and brings in an MVP award.

I'm not saying that he can't do this. Again, the athleticism and speed that he possesses, along with his size and power, make for an extremely rare and unique skill set. But in his career, he's thrown a grand total of 15 passes, throughout both the regular season and the postseason. He won't have a consistent gig as a quarterback -- we don't think -- while Drew Brees is still in town, and so the reps will be very spotty.

Then again, he has made some big throws. Take this one for instance, which was made in a playoff game, no less.

Additionally, it's worth noting that Jackson was introduced to the Ravens system in an interesting and somewhat similar role, where he came in every so often behind Joe Flacco in unique schemes and as both a passer and a rusher before becoming the full-time starter. There were doubts about his ability as a polished NFL passer even after leading the Ravens down the stretch in 2018, but he proved those doubters wrong in a phenomenal 2019 campaign.

Hill has time to progress to the same point. Though his NFL passing experience is limited, he played in a full-time capacity at BYU. In his 2013 sophomore season, he recorded 2,938 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, while also toting the ball 246 times for 1,344 yards and 10 touchdowns. That sounds fairly reminiscent of someone's 2019 performance, doesn't it?

Damon Amendolara, in the video above, doesn't see why the Saints would pay Hill the way they did if they plan on going with Jameis Winston as the starter. However, he says he doesn't really grasp the vision that the near 30-year-old Hill will realistically be able to turn into a franchise quarterback.

"I've got to feel like this is, 'thanks for doing what you're doing'," Amendolara said. "Let's face it: it's hard to envision that's the guy... when he's only had [15] passes attempted and he's nearly 30 years old. What I think this is is simply a make-good for being a good soldier..."

Only time will tell how Sean Payton and the Saints use their Swiss army knife over the next two seasons. But if Glazer is on to something and they've been waiting to reveal the full potential of their secret weapon in a similar fashion to the Ravens and Lamar Jackson, then the rest of the league is in for some real tough times going forward.

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