Eddie Jackson 2017 NFL Draft Profile

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Overview
Position: Strong safety
Height: 6‘0″
Weight: 194 pounds
School: Alabama Crimson Tide

Eddie Jackson 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Alabama’s Eddie Jackson is a very talented defensive back who will bring a lot of value to the team that drafts him. He is a sound run defender with playmaking ability versus the pass, and a adept punt returner as well. After an amazing junior campaign, Jackson’s senior season was cut short by injury.

Jackson started four games at corner for Bama as a true freshman in 2013. Then he started the majority of their games the following year coming off an ACL injury sustained during spring ball. In his first year at safety in 2015 he had six interceptions including two returned for touchdowns. As a senior this year, he broke his leg during the eighth game of the season and as a result only had one interception on the season, but he got his money’s worth, returning it 55 yards for a touchdown. Jackson finished his career with nine interceptions returned for over three hundred yards and three touchdowns.

Jackson is multi-talented having played and started at both safety and corner in his career at Bama. This adds to his value as NFL teams can use him in multiple roles including nickel and dime substitution packages. He was a leader in the secondary and was voted team captain as a senior. He is a dynamic playmaker who has a knack for getting his hands on the ball and making big plays once he does.

Jackson is a sound tackler, but not the stereotypical feared strong safety. He is versatile having played in a system that required him to do many different things. He makes big time plays in the passing game, but struggled at times when in deep field coverage, letting receivers get past him. He plays well when rolled down in zone or man, but in man allows too much cushion for the receiver to catch the ball underneath. His punt return abilities give him added value, and for the team that drafts him will create another opportunity to get the ball in his hands.

Strengths

  • fast enough to run down ball carriers who have broken free.
  • heavily involved in the run game.
  • solid tackler.
  • makes plays, especially once he gets his hands on the ball.
  • breaks on the ball well.
  • excellent ball skills.
  • can return punts.

Weaknesses

  • a little undersized.
  • at times takes poor run support angles.
  • receivers will get past him in deep field zones at times.
  • not the biggest hitter in the draft.
  • will run around blocks.
  • leaves more space in man coverage than you would like to see.

NFL Comparison: Micah Hyde

Teams with Need a Position: Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams

Projection: second or third round

Bottom Line

Eddie Jackson is an extremely talented player with a ton of upside. He can play safety and corner and showed an incredible ability to make plays during his college career. He started as a corner early on in his career, and should be able to match up well in man coverage versus slot receivers. He is a good tackler and run defender and can do so effectively when rolled down in cover three. For the right team, Jackson could be a significant piece, but will need to avoid the injury issues he had at times in his college career.

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