PROS: Has good speed and size. Works well as a press corner and is able to get the jam. Has nice hips to turn and run with receivers. Does a nice job playing the deep ball and has good ball skills. Flashes potential and good awareness when he works in zone. Usually in a position to make a play on the ball or at least get the stop after the catch. Is willing in run support, and will lower shoulder and deliver the hit. Comes up off teh edge and will cut a back's legs, breaks down, and wraps up.
CONS: Needs to play a bit more disciplined and improve his footwork. Can get turned around in coverage and will give up a bit underneath. At times can be undersized vs. the run, and needs to do a better job beating blocks on the edge against receivers.
OVERVIEW: Was the top cover man in Alabama's defense and has all the tools to do so for an NFL defense. A three-year starter that teams started to avoid in the past two years. For his career had 5 picks and 30 passes defended.
NFL FORECAST: I think he has the ability and potential to be a No. 1 corner. He plays with that bit of swagger that you like to see in top corners. He isn't the most polished cover man, and needs to play with a bit more discipline, I do think that with minimal coaching those things can be coached out of him. He should be able to excel in a scheme that likes to play a lot of press man coverage. I'm not convinced he will be an elite corner, but I do think that within two or three seasons he will be the top corner for the team he plays on. He's good enough to come into the league and contribute right away, although I think he would have his ups and downs as a rookie starter. But he's a guy that I think would make significant improvements in Year 2 and 3, which is typically the time when young corners start to hit their stride and enter their prime.
ATL FORECAST: Jackson has the ability to be a starter right off the bat in Atlanta opposite Robinson. He certainly could push for playing time right and if he didn't win it, would be hard to keep on the bench. He offers more size than guys like Grimes and Owens and has more upside than either, so even if he didn't win the starting spot outright, he would likely be regular in the nickel by midseason. He would give the Falcons a solid starter by year two, and a good pair of corners for the future. He and Robinson would be a good duo, because both guys are physical guys, and they should push each other. Not sure, Jackson would be among the elite or near-elite corners in the league, but certainly could potentially be in the running for the best guy to play in black and white since Sanders.
VALUE: Jackson is a nice first round talent that his lack of polish and discipline might mean I would wait until the latter part of the round to draft him.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
MAN COVERAGE: 4.0
ZONE COVERAGE: 3.0
BALL SKILLS: 3.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.