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Lamar Jackson denies reports, adamant he is 'strictly a quarterback'

INDIANAPOLIS — Quarterback Lamar Jackson denied media reports Friday that he had been asked by teams at the NFL Combine to work out as a wide receiver.

"No teams have asked me to play wide receiver," Jackson said. "I don't even know where that comes from. I'm strictly a quarterback."

Jackson also emphasized that should a team ask him to switch at any point during the process, he will not end up with that organization.

"I'm not going to their team," he said. "Whoever likes me at quarterback, that's where I'm going."

Jackson, who finished his collegiate career at Louisville with 9,043 yards, 69 touchdowns and a 142.9 quarterback rating in three seasons, said he is "shocked" to hear the rumors about him playing wide receiver. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner added he finds any suggestion that he cannot play quarterback in the NFL to be a form of disrespect

"I thought I did a good job at quarterback. I did!" said Jackson, laughing. "… I'm here now. I'm at the Combine, I've just got to show off my ability."

He later dismissed the notion he would be satisfied with a backup quarterback role that includes playing in the slot.

"That's basically another position," Jackson said. "You're just trying to reword the question. No, like I said before, I'm a quarterback."

Jackson said any Wildcat packages also fall outside of acceptable role, joking that "this is not the Dolphins with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams."

When asked Wednesday whether he thought Jackson projects as a quarterback or wide receiver, President of Football Operations/GM John Elway chose the former.

"I started watching him," Elway said. "Is there a quarterback that's gone and been a wide receiver [that's been] successful?

"… I think if he's going to make it, he's going to make it as a quarterback in the right situation."

Whether that situation will be in Denver remains to be seen, but Jackson promised Friday a "different" and "leveled-up Lamar" for any team that chooses to draft him.

After his 2017 completion percentage dipped below 60 percent following Louisville's bowl game, Jackson has spent the offseason working on his accuracy and his footwork.

He said he's improved his ability to stay in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield, and he's also transformed a stance that he said was too narrow in college.

"I feel like Drew Brees now," joked Jackson about his newfound stance.

He will get the chance to show off that accuracy and his Brees-like footwork during his throwing session Saturday, and he expects teams will be most interested in these aspects of his game.

Should he perform well, he could convince a team he's worth a first-round draft pick.

And that team would be getting quite the weapon.

"I'm mobile," Jackson said. "I can hit any target on the field. I love the game with a passion. I can lead my team, and I feel like the field general when I'm out there. I love to score. I love to put the ball in other receivers' hands. I'm not a ball hog, at all. It may look like it, but I'm not."

"I just love winning."

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