“Do you know how many white quarterbacks have been drafted no. 1 overall since 2000? Seven. That means that black people, given their population, have a much higher chance of being drafted no. 1 than white people, given their population.” -- Clay Travis
Clay Travis took exception to a recent New York Daily News article that made the argument that Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson would be the first player selected in Thursday’s NFL Draft if Jackson were white.
The writer took great offense to comments last month made by ESPN analyst and former NFL GM Bill Polian as the Draft guru suggested teams work out Jackson not as a quarterback, but as a wide receiver. The author said it was an evaluation based on racism against black quarterbacks, and asked why Josh Allen, who is a 6’5” 233-pound white quarterback, wasn’t being asked to try out as a tight end at the Combine.
Lamar Jackson, of course, just finished off one of the most successful college careers of all-time, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016, and finishing with the most career rushing yards at the QB position in the history of the sport.
Travis wonders why the author didn’t quickly grasp that Jackson is obviously one of the most electrifying athletes in college football history, not for his arm, but for his legs, hence why Polian even made such a suggestion in the first place.
“Being told you should change positions is not an indictment of your quarterback abilities, Travis said. It’s a credit to how good of a player you are that people think you can play multiple positions in the NFL.”
Clay pointed out that four black quarterbacks -- Jamarcus Russell, Michael Vick, Cam Newton, and Jameis Winston have already been selected first overall since 2000, so the narrative that NFL teams would ever be racist enough to not draft a black QB no. 1, like the author suggests, is not only ridiculous but factually incorrect.
Travis also wonders why the author took such great offense to Polian’s comments for Jackson to try wide receiver when notable dual-threat college quarterbacks like Tim Tebow, Terrelle Pryor, Antwaan Randle-El Julian Edelman, Eric Crouch, and Matt Jones have already tried to make the same jump.
“Race has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not NFL teams believe you can play quarterback. People suggested that Tim Tebow play tight end for the entirety of his NFL career,” Travis said. “The reason why Lamar Jackson is not going no. 1 overall is the same reason that Heisman-winning Tim Tebow did not go no. 1 overall, and that’s because he hasn’t proven that he can be a consistent pocket-passing quarterback.”
Listen to the full audio from this segment below.