2018 Stampede Blue NFL Draft Guide Player Profile
Jackson has the upside to be an elite cornerback in the Colts secondary
Like I’ve mentioned in past player profiles, the Colts have a huge need for cornerback in this year’s NFL Draft. With issues throughout the defense, they might not have the luxury of using a first round pick on the defensive backfield.
Last season, the Colts secondary was one of the NFL’s worst, giving up 246.6 yards per game through the air, good for 28th in the NFL. While the rush defense and total defense were just as bad, slowing down the opposing team’s passing game has a strong correlation with slowing down the rest of the offense. That’s why addressing the issue in the secondary is an important one on Thursday and Friday.
Josh Jackson, a 6-foot, 196-pound cornerback out of the University of Iowa is the type of player that the Colts can target on Day 2. He led the nation in interceptions during his junior year, picking off eight passes and deflecting another 18. He was also named a consensus First-Team All-American and team captain.
As you can see from the interception numbers, Jackson has terrific ball skills that should translate to the next level. Where improvement needs to be seen with Jackson is in man coverage. At Iowa, he played majority of his snaps in a zone coverage scheme. At the next level, you have to have the ability to play in any scheme, especially if you hope to be an elite corner. At the 2018 NFL Combine, Jackson boasted a very disappointing 40-yard dash time of 4.56, which will make it tough to make up space against NFL receivers.
While he has some weakness, Jackson’s ball skills and hands give him elite upside potential. He is ranked by Stampede Blue as the fifth corner in the draft and if he is not drafted on Day 1, the Colts should swoop in to grab Jackson for his potential.