Austin Jackson taken in first round of NFL Draft, USC’s first pick in 2020

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

The Miami Dolphins picked USC football’s Austin Jackson in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Austin Jackson is now a Dolphin.

USC football’s All-Pac-12 offensive tackle was selected with the 18th pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

In Miami, Jackson won’t have any USC company. He is the only Trojan on the roster. However, he will join the team with new QB Tua Tagovailoa, who was taken at No. 5.

Jackson played 39 games for USC, starting 25 times at left tackle.

The 6-foot-6, 310-pounder arrived as a highly-touted four-star prospect. Even as a high school recruit his potential as a future first-round draft pick was noted.

True to form he managed to secure a place in the rotation immediately, seeing action in 14 games for the Trojans as a freshman in 2017.

The 2018 season was his first as a full-time starter. He took home USC’s John McKay Award as the underclassmen displaying the most competitive spirit.

Jackson took a step forward as a junior. While starting 13 games, he made the All-Pac-12 first team and even got an All-American honorable mention from Phil Steele.

Once Jackson declared for the NFL Draft, the next question was whether he could command a first-round selection.

Mock drafts varied with Jackson listed everywhere from the middle of the first round to the second.

Mel Kiper featured Jackson as the No. 6 offensive tackle on his Big Board.

Scouts agreed that his size and athleticism was ideal for a pro prospect. However, his technique was considered particularly raw. Any team who decided to pick him up would have to build him up considerably as a talent.

The Dolphins appear to be up for the task.

Jackson is USC’s 510th draft pick of all-time and the 82nd first-rounder. His selection also ensures the Trojans record of an NFL draftee every year since 1939 will remain intact. They share that run with Michigan.

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