Jackson has been on quite a journey during his collegiate career. He couldn’t qualify academically to join his twin brother, Malik, at Southern Cal, so he went the junior college route. Next up was a two-year stop at Texas Southern, and despite his success there, he moved on to Portland State for his senior season. Will these travels affect his draft grade? Probably a little. But in the end, NFL general managers simply want talented players that can do their job on the field; Jackson possesses the same combination of size and athleticism that allowed his brother to become a fifth-round pick of the Denver Broncos, so it’s tough to imagine him not being at least selected in the second half of picks on Draft Saturday.
Marquis shared the All-Los Angeles City Defensive MVP award with Malik (who made his own move from USC to Tennessee after 2009) in their senior season, but his academic struggles forced him to attend College of the Canyons for one season. All he did there was earn the All-California JC Defensive Player of the Year award (80 tackles, 12 sacks). In 2009, he did not play football in order to focus on his academics. SWAC opponents wish he would have taken another year or two off, as he came into Texas Southern and earned first-team all-conference honors both seasons by starting every game, totaling 36 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.
Versatile player who lines up standing up or with his hand on the ground outside the tackle, also at the three-technique position. Uses his supreme length to hold the line of scrimmage despite a taller build, as well as to wrap up ballcarriers in his immediate area. Explodes from his stance in pass-rush mode, too quick for FCS linemen and also capable of swatting them away with his hands when he wants to win the gap inside. Flashes a balanced and quick spin move to get inside tackles trying to take away the edge. Has a strong punch at the point of attack, allowing him to win the line or knock back retreating tackles when rushing the passer. Shows some foto quickness in space and closing speed attacking the quarterback when standing up.
Pops up out of his stance after the snap, gets away with it against lower-level competition but will need to show he can stay low. Must also prove the flexibility to turn the corner against NFL-caliber linemen, and his height/average flexibility makes it difficult for him to change directions quickly to grab elusive ballcarriers. Lacks elite bulk and strength on the edge to get off better blocks efficiently. Movement in space as a linebacker against NFL ballcarriers might be an issue unless he can learn to play with a lower pad level.
The well-travelled twin brother of 2012 fifth-round pick of the Broncos, Malik, has succeeded wherever he’s played. He was the top junior college defender in California’s College of the Canyons (12 sacks), a two-time All-SWAC pick at Texas Southern (36 tackles for loss, 14 sacks in 2010-2011), and then moved on to a competitive Big Sky Conference to play at Portland State. Even though he might not be quite as big as Mali, his production and size/athleticism combination intrigue scouts too much for them to deny him at least a late-round selection.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.