It’s NFL Draft Week, So It’s Black QB Hater Time!

It’s NFL Draft week and that means two things- one, no one knows who’s going to be selected first and two, Black QB haters are in full effect.

Doubting of Black quarterbacks is like clockwork. Every March and April speculation, admiration and evaluation arises and then the disparagement and hate flood in.

It’s an annual right of passage for media personalities.

Remember Bill Polian’s horrendous analysis of then-Louisville Cardinals star, Lamar Jackson, in 2018?

“I think wide receiver,” responded Polian when asked about where Jackson should play. “Exceptional athlete, exceptional ability to make you miss, exceptional acceleration, exceptional instinct with the ball in his hand, and that’s rare for wide receivers. That’s [Steelers wideout Antonio Brown] and who else, name me another one who’s like that, right? Julio [Jones] is not like that. This guy is incredible in the open field and [has] a great ability to separate and, again, he’s short and a little bit slight and clearly, clearly not the thrower that the other guys are.

“His accuracy isn’t there, so I would say, don’t wait to make that change, don’t be like the kid from Ohio State [Terrelle Pryor] and be 29 when you make the change.”

Mind you, over his final two seasons in Louisville, Jackson threw for over 7,200 yards with 57 TDs and 19 INTs and completed roughly 57% of his passes. He also rushed for over 3,100 yards and 39 TDs.

Or how about Dan Orlovsky and Chris Mortensen both shunning Justin Fields because of his alleged poor work ethic and bad throwing mechanics.

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And of course there was this infamous attempt by Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki in 2011 to assassinate Cam Newton’s character:

“Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room . . . Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”

Makes you wonder if Nawrocki had a personal beef with Cam because that was beyond harsh.

This past weekend, CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco decided to join the Black QB flub club and provide his two cents about Liberty QB, Malik Willis.

“He’s not a quarterback,” exclaimed Prisco. “What he did at Liberty is not close to playing quarterback in the NFL. He looks like a running back. He tucks the ball, one read and run. At least Josh Allen stood in there and made throws. I don’t like this pick. I don’t like the player. I think he is a second or third-round pick in my book.”

We all anticipated someone would be gunning for Malik Willis heading into NFL Draft week, and Prisco answered the call.

He’s a perfect example of what NFL traditionalists refuse to do- accept that the days of the immobile pocket passer are gone.

With the improved speed of defensive linemen and linebackers, quarterbacks have to be able to run in today’s game.

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No longer can they sit in the pocket and simply throw the ball away before TJ Watt comes barreling into them for a strip-sack. Quarterbacks have to be able to extend plays with their legs in today’s gridiron game of speed.

And while Willis might not be as refined as he will be, he’s no running back.

In his two years at Liberty, Willis threw for 5,107 yards with 47 TDs and 18 INTs and completed 62.4% of his passes. He also rushed for 1,822 yards and 27 TDs.

That’s approximately 1,300 fewer rushing yards than Jackson.

Does that sound like a “one read and run” quarterback to you?

Prisco exemplifies the outdated thinking of talent evaluators, which frustrates fans.

Despite their collegiate accomplishments, Black quarterbacks like Willis, Trey Lance and Jalen Hurts are doubted and discounted by media personalities like Prisco.

We see it with Jalen Hurts. Despite posting numbers that would have earned him the Heisman if LSU’s Joe Burrow hadn’t obliterated college football rulebooks, his NFL potential was doubted.

Now Hurts has his leadership skills questioned despite leading the Eagles to the playoffs this past season.

Meanwhile, the Carson Wentzes, Josh Allens and Justin Herberts are praised for the very talents that Black quarterbacks are critiqued for.

“We’re also well beyond the obvious comparisons between the language used to describe the white and Black players from the same position every year,” wrote David Steele last April. “Or the way the very attributes used to damn the prospects of Black quarterbacks are flipped to elevate the stock of the Carson Wentzes, Mitch Trubiskys, and Josh Allens in past drafts.”

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We’re not saying Prisco is racist. We’re saying that he maintains the mindset of decades past.

If Prisco felt Willis was unrefined and should be a second round pick, no problem.

But evaluate Black quarterbacks by the same criteria and then use their intangibles to elevate their value instead of minimizing it.

And give them the time and opportunity to develop that was provided to quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers.

When Steve McNair was allowed to shine, look at what he did.

But go ahead and tell us that he ran too much. We’ll wait.

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