CRAWFORD | Lamar Jackson, quarterback, peppered with wide receiver questions at NFL combine
Former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson met the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Friday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Lamar Jackson met the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Friday afternoon. I wonder how many of the media had met him.
Jackson spent the first five minutes of his news conference answering questions about the wide receiver position, after a report Friday morning said that multiple teams had asked him to work out at receiver as well as quarterback position. (WDRB's John Lewis will have a report from Indianapolis on WDRB News Friday night.)
Jackson, who became the youngest Heisman Trophy winner ever as a sophomore quarterback at Louisville laughed at the questions, but clearly wasn’t all that pleased to have to keep answering them.
“No teams have asked me to play wide receiver,” Jackson said.
Asked about the report Friday morning, Jackson said, “That’s crazy. I thought I did a good job at quarterback. I thought I did! They can say what they want to say, build a story.”
Then, another question, to which Jackson replied: “I’m a quarterback.. . . That’s strictly my position. I’m not going to be at wide receiver at all tomorrow. Quarterback position.”
But the questions still came.
For Jackson, it was the first pass rush of his pro football career. The NFL isn’t fond of outliers. If you don’t fit its mold, you’re in for an uphill struggle. Jackson knows this. He was recruited by many big-time colleges. He went to the one that gave him a chance to start right away – at quarterback. Lots of people wanted him to be a defensive back or a wideout.
“Whoever likes me at quarterback, that’s where I’m going,” Jackson said. “. . . I’m mobile, I can hit any player on any part of the field, and I love the game with a passion. I just love winning. I love putting the ball in receiver’s hands. . . . I’m not a ball hog. It may look like it, but I’m not.”
Then, another question about wide receiver.
“Like I said before,” Jackson said. “I’m a quarterback.”
Jackson knows he has some work to do. And in this, he’s also earned some NFL skeptics, because he isn’t working out with a well-known agent, in fact he doesn’t have an agent at all. He’s working out privately with a trainer in Florida. He says he knows what he has to show scouts when he works out Saturday.
“I’ve been working on (footwork and mechanics), working on my accuracy, and that’s what I have to show tomorrow, improve my accuracy,” Jackson said. “That’s why they’re doubting me right now. . . . Showing off my speed and showing I could make people miss. I just have to show off my arm, because that’s what they’re doubting.”
Many also doubt whether Jackson is making the right move by not hiring an agent. He says he has an attorney to look over any contract he’ll sign. He says his mother is his manager, though, “I been managing myself.”
“Agents don’t really negotiate anything,” Jackson said. “As a rookie, you’re going to get the salary you’re going to get. He’s going to take a big cut, and I feel like I deserve it right now. I do have a guy.”
You know, in this, Jackson isn’t wrong.
But going your own direction tends to make the NFL nervous. Still, Jackson says he has had meetings with the Bills, Bears, Steelers, Dolphins, Giants and Eagles. He’ll probably have more soon.
About playing quarterback.
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