Former Ravens receiver Steve Smith Sr. likens Lamar Jackson to Deshaun Watson

Since rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson’s college days at Louisville, comparisons to Michael Vick have flown around like debris in heavy wind — including from Vick himself.

But that’s not the best parallel for everyone.

On Tuesday, former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. likened Jackson to 22-year-old Houston Texas quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Watson, 22, heading into his second season, leans more heavily on his arm. He had 19 passing touchdowns in seven games (six starts) before his rookie season ended because of an ACL tear. Jackson is well-known for his quick feet as much as his throwing game, and was even scouted by the Los Angeles Chargers as a potential wide receiver.

But it wasn’t so much their play style as their attitude that drew a link in Smith’s mind.

“[Jackson], he’s willing to hone in his craft and improve on whatever deficiencies he has, kind of like Deshaun Watson did when he was at Clemson,” Smith said on NFL Network. “Every year they said he needed to be more pocket-present. That’s what he did. Be more accurate. That’s what he’s become.”

Even though Smith agrees Joe Flacco will start for the Ravens, he views Jackson as a player who, when he takes the helm, will be an impactful organizational centerpiece.

Smith also “settled” a debate on the greatest wide receiver was of all time.

“Jerry Rice,” Smith said. “I don’t even have to think about it.”

kfominykh@baltsun.com

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