A bizarre conflict has emerged at the Scouting Combine, with multiple reports from NFL Network suggesting that teams asked quarterback Lamar Jackson to participate in receiver drills — and Jackson saying that never happened.
The NFLN reports come from unnamed sources. Jackson, the ultimate source, says it never happened. Given that Jackson represents himself, it’s not as if the request was made to someone else and not related to Jackson.
So what’s going on here? The potential explanations are these: (1) the NFLN reports are incorrect; (2) Jackson is lying; or (3) the unnamed sources relied on by NFLN are lying.
Whatever the reason(s) for this, it’s a prime example of why Jackson needs to hire an agent. Because this is precisely the kind of thing that a good agent can deal with, calling the NFLN reporters and pressuring them to unring the bell (in lieu of circling the wagons), calling other reporters to get Jackson’s version out there, and otherwise doing whatever has to be done to keep this episode from reflecting negatively on Jackson and, ideally, finding a way to make it reflect on him favorably.
Here’s the real question: Why would Jackson lie about this? He said he hasn’t been asked to work out as a receiver and wouldn’t if he were. If the requests have been made, why not simply say, “Some of them asked me to do it, and I told them no.”
At its core, this could simply be nothing more than an effort by an agent who represents another quarterback vying to be taken as early as possible in the draft. What better way to do that than to raise questions about Jackson’s draft fortunes, either by stoking the “he should play receiver” fire or by creating the impression that he’s not being honest?
It also could be #fakenews planted by a team that would like to see Jackson plunge, just far enough so that that team can draft him.
Either way, Jackson needs someone on his side who knows how to put out this weird little fire quickly. It’s the last thing Jackson should be trying to handle personally.