Here’s the 2018 NFL Draft profile of cornerback Donte Jackson out of Louisiana State University breaking down his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights, and if he would be a fit for the New York Jets.
Spending three years at LSU as a two-sport athlete, Donte Jackson saw success not only on the track but on the gridiron as well. Standing 5-11 and weighing in at 175 lbs., the 22-year-old North Carolina native made an immediate impact at LSU, playing in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2015. He then started 11 of 12 games in 2016 before starting 12 of 13 games in 2017 and earning SEC second-team all-conference honors.
An elite athlete with tremendous speed, Jackson has intrigued scouts, but like any player, he does indeed have some weaknesses that he’ll need to address in order to succeed at the next level.
Let’s take a look at his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights and if he might be a good fit with the New York Jets.
What sticks out most when looking at Jackson’s strengths is his incredible speed. In fact, some have argued that he could be the fastest player entering this year’s draft and his 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine was impressive, to say the least.
Regardless, Jackson uses this speed and his high-level athleticism to his advantage. He backpedals well in addition to closing in on the ball well, which could also be a result of his speed.
Also, Jackson has shown the ability to play both on the outside or in the slot, while also, at times, showing the ability to lure opposing quarterbacks into making questionable passes. Throughout his 2017 campaign, he totaled 49 tackles, one interception, and 10 pass breakups.
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While his speed and athleticism are things to marvel at, Jackson’s frame is a bit small which raises some questions regarding his ability to stop the run. It can also lead him to miss out on tackles if he attacks too high.
Also, Jackson should look to work on his instincts. He appeared to sometimes get lost in coverage while losing his balance on other occasions during his time as a Tiger. His route recognition skills will also need to improve.
Finally, his hands have been questioned and he isn’t the most reliable when it comes to securing interceptions, as he only had four picks during his collegiate career.
While Jackson certainly has improvements to make, his speed, athleticism, and successful collegiate resume put him into the mix with the top cornerbacks entering this year’s draft.
Overall, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Jackson taken in the first round, although I feel as if it’s more likely that he’ll come off of the board on day two. With that being said, it’s interesting to speculate on whether or not he would fit with the Jets.
With the Jets signing Trumaine Johnson via free agency, Morris Claiborne re-signed, and Buster Skrine’s future with the team currently unclear, the green and white are certainly in the market for another cornerback as a backup on the depth chart.
Since the Jets made a blockbuster trade with the Indianapolis Colts to move up from the No. 6 overall pick to No. 3, it’s unlikely that Jackson will be wearing a Jets uniform next season. There is no way he’d drop farther than the second round as he’ll likely be a good cornerback on another team.