Raji: ‘I’m happy the truth is out’

One of the top defensive players in the draft is relieved he does not have to be on the defensive any longer.

Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji said he has been assured he did not fail a drug test at the NFL scouting combine, contrary to two online reports. Raji arrived in the Bay Area this evening and is scheduled to meet with 49ers officials Tuesday in Santa Clara.


Raji (6-2, 337) is considered the highest-rated defensive lineman in the draft and a top-10 prospect. The 49ers own the No. 10 overall pick in the draft. Obviously, Raji is a serious option for the 49ers if he is still available after the first nine selections.


His reputation appears to be on the mend after reports surfaced last week on SI.com and NFLDraftbible.com that he tested positive for drugs at the combine in February. Raji told me this evening the reports are inaccurate. His agents provided evidence in a statement earlier today and declared the “reports are untrue.”


“The biggest thing is trying to figure out how this started,” Raji said. “I couldn’t understand how this rumor became such a big splash in the media when there was no evidence – there was no substance to believe it. The last couple days, I was just trying to figure out: Who? What? Basically, why?”


“Now, I’m happy the truth is out. Obviously, it’s not going to be as big of a splash as the negative part. But as long as the coaches and the decision-makers know what is true, then I don’t need to be concerned with everybody else.”


Raji said he only had to discuss the issue in-depth with the Buccaneers because the online reports came out the day before he visited.


“With Tampa, I handled it differently than I’ll handle it with the 49ers,” Raji said. “They were very direct with their questioning. Obviously, I’m not going to deal with it the same way with the 49ers. (In Tampa), it was basically me telling them I didn’t do it without any proof. The 49ers will have the proof.”


Raji has also taken visits to Detroit and Tampa. Raji was in Denver earlier on Monday. He is scheduled to meet with the Jets on Wednesday, and the Browns on April 16.


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UPDATE: NFL teams are expected to receive the official report of which players tested positive around April 20.


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(Arguably) the Bay Area’s top college prospect, San Jose State defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert, will not attend the 49ers’ local pro day on April 17. But he is expected to visit with 49ers team officials at some point this week.


Gilbert has a full schedule of visits. He has already traveled to Detroit. Chiefs officials visited him in San Jose. Earlier today, he went to New Orleans. He is also scheduled to make visits to meet with the Patriots (April 13), Steelers (April 15), Cowboys (April 16) and Redskins (April 17).


Gilbert could be draft as early as the late first round. The 49ers’ second-round pick is No. 43 overall.


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