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Sizing up NFL Options for USC DB Adoree Jackson

adoree Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Adoree Jackson is the current recipient of the Jim Thorpe award for the nation’s top defensive back. Jackson is an interesting player for the Eagles to watch. He has vastly improved his coverage skills since his freshman season at USC, and he has excellent ball skills that will lead to him getting many interceptions in the NFL. Also, Jackson can be an explosive player on special teams, as shown by his combined four kick return and four punt return touchdowns in his college career.

2014: 12 games, 49 tackles, 9 passes defensed

2015: 14 games, 35 tackles, 1 interception, 8 passes defensed

2016: 13 games, 55 tackles, 5 interceptions, 11 passes defensed

However, standing at only 5’10 and 186 lbs., Jackson will struggle against taller, bigger receivers in the NFL. He doesn’t excel at tackling out of the gate, and combined with his smaller size, means that Jackson will struggle to help in the running game. Also, Jackson often becomes over aggressive and tries to jump routes early, resulting in him getting burnt from time to time.

Overall, Jackson looks to be more of a slot corner in the NFL and that will hamper his potential. However, due to his ball skills and ability on special teams, Jackson should still be able to offer NFL teams significant playing time right out of the gate. The Eagles should give Jackson a look, but assuming the team stays at 14 this would be a real reach.

If the Buffalo Bills going to mix things up defensively or play primarily in a zone, Adoree Jackson would be a stellar addition to the secondary, either on the boundary or in the slot. At worst, he would be a complimentary special teams returner while developing under the tutelage of a defensive backs coach. He could be a fit in new head coach Sean McDermott’s defensive scheme.

Holding the top pick in the second round, the Cleveland Browns might also be a team to watch.

Draft Projection: late first round to early second round

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