Lamar Jackson's NFL future has recently been the subject of much speculation.
The dual-threat quarterback has a Heisman Trophy on his mantle, yet he's not considered to be among the top-four prospects at his position. The New England Patriots are rumored to have the most interest in Jackson and he received the virtual stamp of approval from Tom Brady on Thursday.
Jackson has been projected to go anywhere from a top-10 pick to a second-round draft selection, making any of the 32 teams a possible landing spot for the Louisville star. Some teams are better fits than others, however.
The Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Arizona Cardinals - owners of the No. 11, 12, and 15 overall picks, respectively - have often been linked to Jackson in mock drafts, but they all represent poor fits.
The Dolphins and Cards lack the receiving options (aside from an aging Larry Fitzgerald) and desire to implement run-pass-option systems that would allow Jackson to thrive in the NFL. Just look at their recent history with quarterbacks. The Cardinals went from Carson Palmer to Sam Bradford and the Dolphins from Ryan Tannehill to Jay Cutler.
The Bills, having jettisoned Tyrod Taylor in favor of AJ McCarron, are very clearly in the market for a more traditional quarterback - one who won't cause fits to opposing defenses and Buffalo's coaching staff.
Jackson isn't out of options, however. Here are the four teams best equipped to make him an NFL star.
Should he be drafted by either the Patriots or New Orleans Saints, Jackson would benefit from learning from and taking over for one of the legends of the game.
The Pats - owners of the No. 23 and 31 overall picks, and a threat to move up in the draft - are in need of a backup to Brady who can be the successor to his throne. Sitting behind Brady has done wonders for Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. Jackson could also spend the next couple of seasons under the tutelage of Bill Belichick before becoming Josh McDaniels' franchise quarterback.
For all of Jackson's athletic abilities, his game does require some refining, particularly when it comes to footwork and accuracy. There's no better classroom to learn than Belichick's.
In New Orleans, Drew Brees was brought back on what is essentially a one-year deal. Again, Jackson could spend his rookie season in an elite apprenticeship program before taking the reins of one of the league's most dangerous offenses.
Imagine Jackson in Sean Payton's offensive system with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara at his disposal. Scary.
The team that offers Jackson the quickest path to the starter's job is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Blake Bortles led the Jags to the 2017 AFC Championship Game and landed a three-year extension in February, but the team hasn't ruled out drafting another quarterback.
By pairing Jackson with star rusher Leonard Fournette, the Jaguars' backfield would be set for the foreseeable future.
They were given a first-hand account of what a dual-threat talent can do for a franchise when the division-rival Houston Texans flourished with Deshaun Watson under center last year. Jacksonville could follow the same blueprint by pairing an elite defense with a dynamic quarterback.
The Los Angeles Chargers have said they're open to using their first-round pick on a quarterback, but the No. 17 overall selection is likely too late a pick to land the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, or Baker Mayfield. It could be the right spot and fit for Jackson, however.
What better place to become a star than in L.A.
The Chargers have fallen behind the Rams in the "Fight for L.A." and are in desperate need of a talent who could fill the empty seats at the StubHub Center. Philip Rivers is entering his 15th season and has just two years remaining in his contract. Someone will need to fill the void as the face of the franchise and the Chargers have suggested Jackson could be the man for the job.
"Our scouts, they've watched the whole year. They like him," head coach Anthony Lynn said last month. "The couple games I saw, I think he's a nightmare for a defense. I think he's a good quarterback."
"Watching the tape and watching him play, you don't see that very often, a guy that carries his team the way he does, and he does a number of things really well," added general manager Tom Telesco. "But those are the fun ones to watch."
Lynn has a history with the likes of Tyrod Taylor, Geno Smith, and Michael Vick, proving he isn't opposed to bringing aboard a player of Jackson's skill set.
The 2018 draft is rife with talented quarterbacks. If picked by the right team, Jackson could be the first one to reach stardom.