Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, a former Heisman Trophy winner, is ready to take the challenge of becoming Tom Brady’s heir-apparent in case the New England Patriots select him in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Patriots are expected to pick a quarterback at some point in the 2018 NFL Draft [VIDEO] who they can develop as an eventual replacement for the 40-year-old Brady, who plans to play until he’s 45 years old. Jackson is expected to be selected in the first round, with some mock drafts placing him behind fellow quarterbacks Sam Darnold of USC, Josh Rosen of UCLA, and Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma [VIDEO]. There is a possibility that Jackson will fall late in the first round, where the Patriots come into play at No.

31. The Patriots are also looking at Washington State’s Luke Falk and Kyle Lauletta of Richmond as a possible backup to Brady.

Jackson could drop to late in first round

Peter Schrager of NFL.com predicted that Jackson will fall to No. 27 with the New Orleans Saints. In Bucky Brooks’ draft board, Jackson will be selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 29. In case he’s taken by the Patriots, Jackson said he will feel no pressure about replacing Brady in the future. “Oh no, I feel I'm cool under pressure,” said Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2016. "Yes sir. I'm cool under pressure. No pressure with me.” According to Jackson, he will feel like a little kid with a lot of questions if he gets drafted by the Patriots. In 2016, Jackson threw for 3,543 passing yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for 1,571 yards and 21 more scores en route to the Heisman Trophy.

Last season, Jackson threw for 3,660 yards with 27 touchdowns on top of 1,601 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.

Jackson won’t shift to wide receiver

There were calls for Jackson to audition in the 2018 NFL Combine as a wide receiver. However, Jackson said he intends to turn pro as a quarterback. “I'm not going to be a wide receiver at all. ... I'm a quarterback,” said Jackson, per Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. During Saturday’s Combine (March 3), Jackson showcased his throwing ability, earning praises from analysts and scouts, alike. According to Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report, Jackson had solid rhythm and showed the type of timing and accuracy needed to succeed in the NFL. Jackson also proved that he can throw down the field as well, completing a long pass to Oklahoma State wide receiver Marcell Ateman. Mike Mayock of NFL.com said Jackson was being a little too “careful” with the ball, saying the quarterback should “rip it” instead.