NFL Prospect Profile: William Jackson

Prospect Overview:

CB, University of Houston

6’0 189lbs

Official Forty-Yard Dash: 4.37 seconds

William Jackson III was a community college student who transferred after his freshman year to Houston. He played in all thirty-nine games of his college career, starting in twenty-five of them over his three-year tenure at the University of Houston. The former Cougar steadily improved each year at Houston, and became one of the best unheard of cornerbacks in college football. Jackson totaled five interceptions in his senior season, including two in a very impressive upset Peach Bowl victory over Florida State. Let’s see how Jackson stacks up on tape:

Positives:

·      One of the biggest questions coming into the draft process was his long term speed, which he answered with a fantastic 4.37 forty-yard dash

·      Showed solid ball skills all over his tape, which matched his five interceptions and twenty-three pass break ups in 2015

·      Outstanding, quick reaction time on tape reads the quarterback eyes and wide receiver’s hips extremely well

·      Shows quick closing speed in short area close out situations

·      Best in zone coverage when he relies on his instincts to read the quarterback and receiver, played a lot of Cover 2 at Houston

·      Solid job at forcing the receiver to where his other teammates are in zone coverage

·      Solid gunner on special teams

·      Has the ability to lay the wood and force incompletions and fumbles with his hits

·      Shows fluid hips in press coverage, changes direction smoothly

Negatives:

·      Struggles in press-man coverage, rarely lands his punch to disrupt the wide receivers route

·      Has a few concerning missed tackles on tape, needs to wrap up better

·      Slow reaction to run plays at times, which allows the running back to gain a few more yards

·      Needs to get better at not allowing the receiver to beat him with quick inside moves in man coverage

What Others Are Saying:

Daniel Jeremiah NFL Network: “He has the ideal size for his position. In press coverage, he flashes the ability to re-route at the line of scrimmage and he has the speed to carry vertical routes.”

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has him ranked 37 on his latest Big Board.

Jonah Tuls USA Today-The Draft Wire: “Jackson shows smooth footwork in his backpedal, then reads the wide receiver and the quarterback to break on the ball with outstanding quickness.”

 

Round Projection: Mid-Late First Round

Jackson is no longer an underrated prospect, because of his fantastic forty-yard dash time at the NFL Combine, but he will still go behind the likes of Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves. However, he could look to pass potential third best corner Mackensie Alexander, if Alexander has a poor pro day. The two-year starter brings great instincts and reaction time, which is invaluable at the next level along with now unquestioned blazing straight-line speed.