Adoree’ Jackson has been tabbed as a future Pro Bowler as a return man, but concerns at cornerback have limited his stock for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Undoubtedly one of the most exciting players in college football, Adoree’ Jackson now faces equal praise and doubt as the 2017 NFL Draft approaches.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com called Jackson “one of the best returners I’ve ever evaluated,” which just goes to show that his eight career return touchdowns –tied for an NCAA record– were no fluke.
Along with his spectacular ability with the ball in his hands, Jackson’s skill as a cornerback also netted him the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back and All-American honors.
How well those skills will translate to the NFL is up for debate, however.
“There are two things teams love — ball production from cornerbacks and return men who can play meaningful snaps on every down. Jackson fits those criteria. His lack of size and length are concerns, but he has the athleticism to step right in as a slot corner on the next level. His combination of coverage and return talent could make him an early impact player.”— Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
“Jackson is one of the most explosive and versatile players in this class due to his ability to contribute in all 3 phases of the game. Jackson is undersized and needs some technical work but he is an elite athlete that has a chance to develop into a versatile playmaker in the back end with the potential to quickly become a pro-bowl caliber returner on ST’s.”— ESPN
“Jackson is arguably the elite athlete in the 2017 draft and his ability to create big plays as a returner and occasionally on offense only make him that much more intriguing. Jackson surrendered nearly as many big plays as he delivered as a cornerback, however, something to keep in mind given this year’s exceptional class at the position. The team that drafts Jackson with the intention of him playing cornerback may need a free safety with range to help protect him.”— Rob Rang, CBS Sports
On pure athleticism alone, Jackson might warrant a first round selection, but the concerns about his height and his limitations in coverage have pushed him back into the second round discussion.
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Teams may love the idea of a Pro Bowl returner, but most predict it would be too much of a stretch to use a first pick on a slot corner.
For Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, that leaves Jackson just outside the first round, as the second pick of Day 2 to the San Francisco 49ers.
DraftTek.com offers Jackson as the No. 38 pick overall to the Chargers, as a way to hype up the Los Angeles fanbase.
However, not everyone thinks Jackson will have to wait until Day 2. Walter Cherepinksy of WalterFootball.com projects the Seattle Seahawks using the 26th pick to pick up Jackson.
Walter Football’s Charlie Campbell goes out on even bigger limb, mocking Jackson to the Washington Redskins at No. 16 overall.
That may be too bold. The safe money says stick with the second round.