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NFL combine is making it easy to pull for Lamar Jackson

Ari Russell

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(USA Today - Trevor Ruszkowski)

There are always seemingly countless storylines every single year at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Obviously, the most inspiring story has been the absolute amazing performance by UCF’s Shaquem Griffin, who has defied critics. On the other end of the spectrum has been the ridiculous narrative surrounding former Louisville QB Lamar Jackson.

The narrative around Jackson was started when former NFL GM Bill Polian said that Jackson should be looked at as a WR. That take was then echoed across the 24 hour sports media landscape and took on a life of it’s own. Of course, there was quite a lot of resistance within the media to even consider this narrative, however, it was a strong enough take to escape any of the rational filters and become a major story line at the combine. We wrote here that the talk is ridiculous.

Now, Jackson stayed away from several drills, including running the 40. He is saving that for his pro day. That move was a good idea for Jackson. By not running the 40 Jackson evaded more WR talk at the combine. Also what happened with his performance in the drills was overshadowed by Jackson’s defiance to accept the WR narrative. His defiance makes it really easy to pull for him.

There are other reasons to root for Jackson. He currently doesn’t have an agent and is more or less representing himself. Though not unprecedented, it certainly isn’t a normal way for a potential first round draft pick to approach his first NFL experience. It will be interesting to see how this story line plays out as well.

Will Jackson still be available when the Dolphins draft at #11? It’s possible he could be and would that mean they should draft the Pompano Beach native? Who knows what the Dolphins will do. They could go after Baker Mayfield if he’s around as well.

The point here is that Jackson’s mere abilities have opened up a conversation that should have been put to rest decades ago. Athletic black QBs are always scrutinized in ways that their counterparts are not. It seems they have to go out here and be twice as good at passing the football as their fellow QBs.

The fact that Jackson had to answer questions about playing any other position other than QB is asinine. Any media member that participated in pushing the WR narrative or even accept it as being a worthy perspective ought to have their press credentials revoked indefinitely.

Lamar Jackson was a great college QB and he’s good enough to be considered to be drafted in the first round as a QB. The WR talk is intellectually dishonest and needs to be dismissed by any and all credible media folks. Hopefully this all dies down after the combine wraps up and we can put it to rest. In the meantime all this must be putting a large fire under Jackson. He will be coming into the NFL with a huge chip on his shoulder. I know I will be rooting for him at the next level.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

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