Jackson's not the first Lamar to quarterback a Baltimore NFL team; the Colts had one, too

Before Lamar Jackson — more than 50 years before — another quarterback with that forename played football for Baltimore. His name was Lamar McHan and he was, like the Ravens’ Jackson, a first-round draft pick who entered the NFL with high expectations. Alas, they never panned out.

An All-American from Arkansas and the second player selected overall in the 1954 draft, McHan spent much of his pro career on the bench. He played for the Colts from 1961 to 1963 behind Johnny Unitas, usually mopping up in games already won or lost.

McHan passed for four touchdowns with the Colts, all in victories over the Minnesota Vikings. The biggest came in 1961 when, having replaced an injured Unitas in the third quarter, he looped a rainbow into the end zone that was caught by Lenny Moore for a 17-yard score. Minutes later, Unitas returned and led the Colts to a 34-33 win as Steve Myhra kicked a 52-yard field goal on the final play and Memorial Stadium rocked.

Like Jackson, McHan was competitive and athletic, a better runner than passer. A Heisman Trophy finalist, he spent five years with the Chicago Cardinals, then was dealt to the Green Bay Packers, where the quick-tempered McHan argued about his playing time with coach Vince Lombardi and was traded to Baltimore.

In September, 1963, with rookie quarterback Gary Cuozzo in tow, the Colts sent McHan to the San Francisco 49ers. He retired a year later, started coaching and spent 10 years on the staff of the New Orleans Saints. McHan died of a heart attack at age 65 in 1998.

mike.klingaman@baltsun.com

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