Our own Director of Scouting Kyle Crabbs went on a rant during Draft Dudes podcast to tell the world to wake up about the forgotten Eddie Jackson. I am here to co-sign!
Before Jackson was injured on October 22nd he was possibly considered the #1 safety in the class. Now, because no one has seen him play in 6 months, he is suddenly a forgotten thought.
Well, wake up! In recent years, Alabama has come to be known as a safety factory producing the likes of Mark Barron, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and most recently Landon Collins. Now-a-days, Alabama safeties are typically plug and play prospects.
The complexity of the Alabama defense has the same nuances of an NFL defensive scheme. Their safeties are demanded to understand the defense, make calls, become the ‘general’ in the backfield, and overall be play makers.
In regards to Eddie Jackson, I mainly like his ability to cover. He began as a cornerback and converted to safety so his first instinct will always be to intercept the ball rather than deliver the killer blow.
He is not as physical as his Alabama counterpart Landon Collins but his game is more compared to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. NFL teams need to heed the Green Bay Packers approach when they drafted Clinton-Dix with the 21st pick in the 2014 draft and were pretty much set for the next 8 yrs.
Like Clinton-Dix, Eddie Jackson’s vast college experience, ability to drop down and cover man, or stay high and cover the width of the field makes him another plug and play long term value pick. His value as a player is late 1st round so if a team drafts him in the 2nd round then I consider him a steal.
The safety depth of this draft class consisting of players like Jamal Adams, Obi Melifonwu, Budda Baker, Jabrill Peppers, and Malik Hooker may cause teams to choose a player with equal talent that is also fresh in their minds. Hence, possibly dropping Jackson to the 3rd round.
Oh, but did I mention he returns punts as well? He averaged an outrageous 25.8 yards per punt return with two touchdowns on just nine attempts through last year’s first seven games! Jackson is a premier safety prospect who has the potential to fall and become a steal in the 2nd or 3rd round.