Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is considered one of the top prospects at his position in this year's class, though there is some debate about whether or not he belongs in the group of the top four players that are considered almost surefire first-round locks. Even if he's not included among that group, however, Jackson is likely somewhere between and possible and probable first-round selection, with a range spanning from the top-15 to the top of the second round.
He has been criticized lately, though, for two decisions that don't have anything to do with his play. First, there was his decision not to run the 40-yard dash at either the NFL combine or Louisville's Pro Day. Jackson is obviously the fastest player among this year's quarterback class, but he didn't want his time giving teams any ideas about moving him away from the QB position, and so he decided not to run. The second decision that has been met with criticism (including from our) is Jackson opting not to hire an agent and instead be represented by his mother, Felicia Jones, who serves as his manager.
"I know coming in as a rookie, an agent doesn't really negotiate anything," Jackson said, per USA Today. "You're going to get the salary you're going to get. I decided I don't need him. He's going to be taking a big cut out of my paycheck … and I feel I deserve it right now."
There's (at least) one person out there that is on Jackson's side when it comes to operating agent-less, however: 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman. "Yes, it's a great idea," Sherman told USA Today. "In terms of improving his draft stock or the amount of money he receives, there isn't much they can do. I'm sure he has mentors and [advisers] who can guide him."
Sherman represented himself in his contract discussions with the Niners, and he, too, was criticized for going without an agent. He seems pretty confident that he got himself a good deal, however, and he's happy to see another player go in that direction.