2018 NFL Draft Profile: Cornerback Josh Jackson
By Michael Henken
Here’s the 2018 NFL Draft profile of cornerback Josh Jackson out of the University of Iowa breaking down his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights, and a draft day prediction.
Although he played wide receiver in high school, 21-year-old Josh Jackson, who had a breakout year in 2017, has transformed into one of the most highly touted cornerbacks entering the 2018 NFL Draft.
Despite only starting 14 games throughout his collegiate career, Jackson made a name for himself this past season, which earned him first-team AP All-American honors in addition to All-Big Ten honors.
Standing, 6’1” tall and weighing in at 192 lbs., Jackson is a natural ball hawk, but just like any player, he has areas where he can approve upon. Let’s take a look at Jackson’s strengths, weaknesses, video highlights and where he’ll end up being selected in this year’s draft.
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To start, Jackson’s best skill is likely his ability to attack the ball, which is aided by his lengthy frame. And not only does he attack the ball, but he has great catching ability as well, which allows for more interceptions.
Throughout the 2017 season, the Texas native totaled 27 passes defended, eight interceptions, which led the nation, while also only allowing a 43 percent completion rate. These stats go to show that Jackson plays the ball incredibly well, while also possessing tremendous instincts.
Jackson also totaled 47 tackles, while showing formidable ability to read and adapt to routes. Ultimately, Jackson is a high-level defensive back and tends to rise to the occasion, as many of his best performances came in big games.
Perhaps not a physical weakness, but one thing that may concern some about Jackson is his lack of experience so to speak. With only 14 career starts at Iowa, much of Jackson’s success came during just one season, which doesn’t provide NFL teams with a large sample size of his capabilities.
His patience and downfield speed have also been questioned a bit. At times, Jackson has appeared to bite way too easily on fakes and when he does get beat, he hasn’t always shown the speed to catch up with a receiver.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
While he certainly has some areas to improve upon, Jackson’s lengthy frame, ability to play the ball, and high-level instincts will likely help him to succeed at the next level. Along with Denzel Ward, Jackson should be one of the very first cornerbacks taken in the first round of this year’s draft. Jackson should be ready to make an immediate impact of some sorts, and he’ll likely provide a ton of value to any team looking for a playmaking defensive back.