Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III has taken fellow former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson under his wing.
Griffin told Sports Illustrated that he sees a bit of himself in the 21-year-old Jackson, who was selected with the 32nd overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. In addition, the 28-year-old Griffin wants to make sure Jackson is ready when it’s time to leave the nest.
“I’m trying to help nurture him as much as I possibly can,” Griffin said, “so that when he flies away, he is ready to fly away. Because when you watch it fly away, at that point it’s up to that bird.”
Griffin said he’s trying to help Jackson learn through his experience, rather than on the fly. The former was the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, but a knee injury in the playoffs altered his career path.
“I try to take that and look at it in a positive way to try to help Lamar navigate a lot of the things that I had to navigate on my own,” Griffin said. “I feel like he really trusts me and believes what I’m telling him and I think that’s made him a better player already in a short amount of time.”
Griffin completed 59.2 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and three interceptions in five games during the 2016 season with the Cleveland Browns. He did not play in 2017.
Jackson passed for more than 3,500 yards and rushed for more than 1,500 in each of the final two college seasons.
Starter Joe Flacco is coming off a subpar season, throwing for 18 touchdowns against 13 interceptions while posting a career-worst 5.7 yards per attempt. Hampered by a back injury, the 33-year-old Flacco completed 64.1 percent of 352 pass attempts for 3,141 yards.
Flacco guided the Ravens to a Super Bowl championship following the 2012 season and is entering his 11th campaign.