The 2017 NFL Combine presents an opportunity for Adoree’ Jackson to dazzle in physical testing while also answering concerns about polish.
Adoree’ Jackson finished his three-year career at USC as one of the most decorated cornerbacks in Trojan history.
An All-American and Thorpe Award winner, Jackson excelled in all phases of the game. He scored touchdowns as a cornerback, a receiver and a return man, defining the term “impact player” in cardinal and gold. Now he’s looking to ply his trade in the pros.
His first task will be to shine at the 2017 NFL Combine in Indianapolis next week.
Scouting Report and Draft Stock
NFL draft experts are torn on Jackson’s stock because he is one of the more unique prospects in this class.
There’s no denying his athleticism — experts agree that his ability as a return man is mouthwatering. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein called him a “high-end return talent who can swing games in an instant.”
CBS Sports’ Rob Rang similarly praised Jackson for his explosiveness as a returner and posited that the cornerback could find a role as a receiver at the next level as well. However, he also noted that “Jackson is not simply a track star in shoulder pads,” praising him for “improved aggression and physicality as a tackler.”
Mentality has never been Jackson’s problem, and draft experts praise him for his aggression, instincts and ability to shake off mistakes quickly.
The trouble is, those mistakes are hard to ignore. Rang pointed out how Jackson struggled against speedy receivers like Washington’s John Ross and Notre Dame’s Will Fuller, “frequently biting on underneath routes and being beaten over the top.”
Zierlin, meanwhile, noted how Jackson’s lack of size means he “could have issues with big slots posting him up in space.”
Both agree that Jackson’s size could also be a problem in run support.
As a result, most mock drafts peg Jackson to go sometime on Day 2. His athleticism and highlight ability boosts him greatly, but major questions about his fit at cornerback in the NFL hurt him.
What Can He Improve at the Combine?
Jackson’s combine is all about polish. Given his elite athletic ability, it’s safe to assume that the two-sport star will ace the physical testing. Doing so should bolster his place as an intriguing athlete on draft boards.
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Of course, the real questions surround his ability as a cornerback specifically.
If Jackson elects to take part in position drills, he could do himself a lot of good by demonstrating a greater level of polish than some of his college tape can show.
Scouts will be watching his footwork — major critiques often circle back to slips against Ross and Utah’s Tim Patrick — as well as his overall skill level.
Unfortunately, Jackson can’t make himself taller at the Combine, but he can still make the case for himself as a slot corner with a strong performance.