2017 NFL Draft
Prospect: Eddie Jackson
Prospect: Eddie Jackson
Ht: 6'-0" Wt: 194
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In 2015 Jackson transitioned to safety after starting at cornerback his first two years. In hindsight, it may have been a blessing in disguise for him. So often corners that are better fits at safety never make that position-switch, and enter the NFL at a disadvantage. That forces them to start their careers with such a steep learning curve that their chances of acclimating to the position, developing the instincts, and changing their body are nearly impossible in the 2-3 year window they have. That is something Jackson won't have to worry about.
As junior, he already started to show an advanced feel for taking the proper angles to defend both the pass and run. No different than a centerfielder playing baseball, it is imperative that a deep safety always take an angle with a policy that no play gets over his head. He regularly stays deeper than the deepest possible threat, and when the ball comes his way Jackson becomes a cornerback again. What I mean by that is he turns his head and plays the ball, not the man. He locates the football and attempts to get it at its highest point. His ball skills take over from there, and his six interceptions as a junior are the result.
As far as playing the run with these angles, it is important for a deep player to understand where he has help. A deep safety seldom has a gap he is responsible for so it isn't as easy as those playing the box. There are times where you beat the player to the edge, and it is imperative to force him to either take you on or cut back in where you have teammates in pursuit. There are other times where you are behind the play, and you have to let the sideline be your help. The proper angle minimizes the yards gained until he either has to take you on or step out of bounds. Either way, the angles are essential. Jackson does a good job at accessing those angles and getting the player to the ground when he is challenged.
I am not going to make Jackson out to be the most physical tackler, but he gets the job done. Turn on the game against Leonard Fournette and LSU, and you see a player who wants to finish. Headlines that week were about the Alabama safeties being too finesse to handle Fournette. Jackson certainly did his part in that game. Once again, he isn't going to blow anyone away with his ability to tackle, but if the final result is the ball carrier on the ground that is all you can ask.
Here are the things I will be looking for in his senior campaign. I want to see if he has added any bulk to his frame. His ideal weight at 6'0" should be around 205, which is 10 lbs heavier than he has been playing at. He has always had the speed and agility of a corner. If he maintains those abilities with the added weight, he could be a top-50 prospect. I also want to see him increase his mental capacity for the position. He has a bunch of returning underclassmen, and he will be the only senior among those who play. Is he going to be the leader of that secondary? Is he going to relay changes in the defense mid-play? Those things will elevate his status among scouts.
Everything else is there. He has an eye for the ball. He covers a lot of ground on the back end. He can step up against interior receivers and play the man or handle his responsibilities in the zone. When he does get the ball in his hands, look out because he is a threat to take it to the house.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Roman Harper (New Orleans Saints) or Devin McCourty (New England Patriots)
- Ball Hawk
- Covers a lot of ground with proper angles
- Outstanding ball skills
- Versatile in coverage
- Threat to score after turnover
- Never going to be an elite tackler
- Needs to add bulk
- Still learning the mental side of safety
1)   Alabama's Eddie Jackson on what Georgia is getting, and what he got in Pruitt   - DawgNation.com |
2)   Senior Jackson improving his stock at Alabama   - GatorSports.com |
3)   Eddie Jackson was outstanding in his first year at safety in 2015
- Scout.com |
4)   Eddie Jackson Twitter|
5)   Eddie Jackson Instagram|