One of the biggest stories at the NFL Combine has been the idea behind Lamar Jackson potentially switching from quarterback to wide receiver at the NFL level.
But don’t tell that to the Heisman winner and former Louisville quarterback who is dead set on sticking to the most important position in the game of football.
According to multiple NFL sources, Jackson has been asked by more than one team to work out at wide receiver while in Indianapolis for the Combine. But, Jackson said he doesn’t know where the rumor came from and that it’s not true. Typically, a request like that would go through a player’s agent, but Jackson doesn’t actually have an agent, other than his mom.
“No teams have asked me to play wide receiver. I don’t even know where it comes from. I’m strictly quarterback,” Jackson told the media on Friday.
When asked his reaction to people who have suggested he should change positions, he was even more blunt.
“Uhh… I’m not going to their team,” Jackson said. “If anything. Whoever likes me at quarterback, that’s where I’m going. That’s strictly my position.”
He wasn’t even done there as the questions continued on the subject. Again, he was asked, “no one at all has asked you to work out at wide receiver?”
“No, sir,” Jackson said. “Not that I know of.”
Some in the NFL community have began to see the concept of asking Jackson to change from quarterback to wide receiver as a race issue. But, Jackson wouldn’t speak to that on Friday.
“I can’t speak for the media. They do their job. I do mine,” he said. “I stay away from that question. I’m a quarterback. I don’t know anything about the rest of it.”
Jackson was also asked whether colleges asked him about playing wide receiver instead of quarterback at that level of the game.
“That’s crazy,” he said smiling. “You know. I thought I did a good job at quarterback! I thought I did! But hey, they say what they want to say. They’re going to build a story. I’m here now. I’m at the combine. I’m happy to be here. I just have to show off my ability.”
One player who stood up for Jackson at the Combine was Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett.
“Was I surprised they asked Lamar Jackson changing positions? Absolutely,” Barrett said. “We all watch football and watch that man. He’s dangerous at the QB position. He should stay there.”
Barrett is also facing some adversity going from being a highly successful college quarterback to being in the middle of the pack of quarterbacks competing to be drafted at the next level.
“Obviously, people have their opinion about who fits better in the NFL and that’s fine. I haven’t paid much attention to it, honestly,” Barrett said. “The one thing I can do is present J.T. Barrett the best I can. The great opportunity I have here to showcase my skills and control what I can control.”
J.T. Barrett on going from such success in college to not being particularly hyped up going into the draft. pic.twitter.com/xd8mNkh4RW— Rebecca Toback (@Rebecca_Toback) March 2, 2018
And while the Combine often showcases players who are in Indianapolis to boast and brag about themselves — in the name of benefiting their draft stock — that’s just not how Barrett (who ran a 4.70 40-yard dash in Indianapolis) operates.
“How much faith do I have in myself? I have some confidence. I’m not the type to voice it. I want to showcase it on the field,” he said. “That’s what I plan to do. I think I did a good job of preparing and being ready for this moment. I have confidence in myself.”