Round 6, Pick 203: Colts Select Andrew Jackson, LB, Western Kentucky

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

With the 203rd overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected linebacker Andrew Jackson out of Western Kentucky.

With their fourth of five picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected linebacker Andrew Jackson out of Western Kentucky in the sixth round with pick number 203 overall.

Jackson is a very intriguing prospect late in the sixth round for the Colts.  He's a talented inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but he has some off-the-field and maturity issues that are question marks.  I've heard that he needs to go to a team with a good locker room, and that certainly would be the Colts.  As a senior in 2013, the 6-1, 254 pound linebacker racked up 95 tackles (8.5 for loss) and a sack with 2 passes defensed while starting 10 of 11 games at middle linebacker (the other game he was suspended for).  Here's the NFL.com scouting report on him:

STRENGTHS

Thickly built, especially through his trunk and lower body. Has ideal bulk to fit inside a 3-4. Physically strong tackler when he’s able to square up and wrap. Intense, confident and competitive. Did not look out of place when WKU stepped up in competition. Productive three-year starter. Very good lateral agility displayed in 4.24-second 20-yard shuttle time at his pro day.

WEAKNESSES

Lacks ideal length. Thick, tight hips and heavy legs. Average eyes and instincts. Needs to improve hand use and shed ability. Lacks speed to track down ball carriers on the perimeter. Leaves some production on the field -- inconsistent tackler. Man-coverage limitations. Does not project as a core special-teams player. Is immature and needs to learn what it means to be professional. Weight tends to fluctuate.


DRAFT PROJECTION

Rounds 5-6


BOTTOM LINE

A stout, physical, downhill thumper with eventual-starter potential inside a 3-4 front where he's protected and able to attack the ball. However, suspect character and work ethic make him a risky investment, and he'd be best served in a locker room with a strong veteran presence.

I really like this pick by the Colts.  While they certainly don't need anybody else at inside linebacker since they have Jerrell Freeman, D'Qwell Jackson, Josh McNary, Kelvin Sheppard, and Mario Harvey.  But the value of this pick late in the 6th round is perfectly fine, as Jackson is a guy that could eventually become a starter if he continues to develop, work, and improve.  The biggest thing he needs to work on is his maturity and off-the-field issues, and going to a team like the Colts can (hopefully) help that.  It's not guaranteed and that's what makes this pick risky, but this late in the draft, it's perfectly fine to take those risks.  I like this pick.

Colts Draft Picks:

Round 2 (Pick 59): Jack Mewhort, G, Ohio State

Round 3 (Pick 90): Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi

Round 5 (Pick 166): Jonathan Newsome, DE/OLB, Ball State

Round 6 (Pick 203): Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky

Round 7 (Pick 232):

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