INDIANAPOLIS — Louisville’s Lamar Jackson is staying put behind center.
“No teams have asked me to play wide receiver,” he said Friday afternoon at the scouting combine. “I don’t even know where it comes from. I’m strictly quarterback. Yes, sir.”
ESPN’s Bill Polian, a Hall of Fame general manager, said recently he thinks Jackson should move to receiver. Then Friday morning NFL Network reported multiple teams had asked him to work out Saturday at receiver, in addition to his duties at quarterback.
“I’m not going to be at wide receiver tomorrow,” Jackson said, laughing. “Quarterback position.”
He wants nothing to do with a team that wants him to switch positions.
“Whoever likes me at quarterback, that’s where I’m going,” he said. “That’s strictly my position.”
Jackson isn’t usually mentioned in the group of quarterbacks in consideration for the Browns with the No. 1 pick — USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield — but some in the organization find him intriguing. He’s projected by many to be picked at some point in the first round.
He said the notion of a position change is “crazy” and puts another chip on his shoulder. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2016 and finished his career with 9,043 yards and 69 touchdowns passing and 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns rushing.
“I thought I did a good job at quarterback! I thought I did!” he said. “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.”
Jackson (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) isn’t lacking for confidence, even with all the naysayers. He was asked which NFL quarterbacks he’s similar to.
“I would say Cam Newton and Tom Brady,” he said. “Yes, sir. Superheroes.”
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was surprised to hear someone would suggest Jackson leave quarterback.
“We all watch football and watch that man,” he said. “He’s dangerous at the QB position.
He should stay there.”
LOOKING BETTER BY THE DAY
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley’s stock is through the roof.
Barkley (6-0, 233) was always expected to go near the top of the draft, with some calling him the best player and suggesting he should be the Browns’ pick at No. 1. Then he had a dazzling workout Friday.
He ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, jumped 41 inches vertically and bench pressed 225 pounds 29 times. His 40 time was second among running backs, .02 behind North Carolina State’s Nyheim Hines (5-8, 197). He was best in the vertical and tied Georgia’s Nick Chubb on the bench.
Barkley isn’t expected to go No. 1 but could be taken by the Giants or Colts before the Browns pick again at four.
Ohio State center Billy Price got some good news after feeling a “little” pop in his left pectoral while bench pressing Thursday. He said the MRI revealed an “incomplete pec tear.”
“Something very minor, looking at the MRI result we were able to see a little bit of an issue but nothing that is going to force me to miss time at all,” he said Friday.
A complete tear likely would’ve cost him the season and caused him to drop in the draft. He will get a second opinion but said he was told he should be OK for training camp, even if he has surgery. He’s considered a candidate to go in the first round.
He was excited to wake up Friday and see no bruising.
“I am definitely happy,” he said. “It is something minor, not something that is going to make me lose time and impact me going forward in the season.”
THE GOOD PLACE
Browns general manager John Dorsey has receiver Josh Gordon’s back — as long as Gordon remains dedicated to the organization.
“My message to Josh Gordon is as long as you’re behind the Cleveland Browns 100 percent, I’m 100 percent behind Josh Gordon,” Dorsey said on “PFT Live.” “I love where he is right now. I think he’s in a good place.”
Dorsey said they’ve had numerous conversations and called Gordon a “physical freak.”
** Running back Isaiah Crowell is expected to leave in free agency, but Dorsey left open the door for a return.
“We’ve had really nice discussions with Isaiah’s representative,” he said. “It will be an ongoing process.”
Dorsey added he’s happy to have a running back like Duke Johnson.
LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
Barrett is used to being the center of attention. He wasn’t Friday.
Darnold had the much bigger crowd of media four podiums away, and Barrett didn’t mind.
“I’m good,” he said.
Barrett is projected as a late-round pick at best despite a stellar career with the Buckeyes.
“Obviously people have their opinion about who fits better in the NFL and that’s fine,” he said. “I haven’t paid much attention to it, honestly. 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.”
He said no team had asked him about playing a different position.
OUT OF LEFT FIELD
Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough was asked the craziest question he had gotten from a team during the combine interviews.
“The Cleveland Browns asked me if I believed God was an Auburn fan,” he said. “I said, ‘No, sir, I do not think that he was.’”