Photo of William Jackson III
Drafted By: Bengals
  • Round 1
  • Pick 24
  • Overall 24

Combine Results

5.93 ?
  • 4.37 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 10 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 116.0 INCH
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He finds the football when it's in the air and then he becomes the wide receiver. I think the Bengals wanted a wide receiver here, but the wide receiver board is gone. So, they take Jackson, who is probably the best player on their board. The Steelers, who are picking right behind the Bengals, need a cornerback badly." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'0" Height
  • 31 3/4" Arm Length
  • 189LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/4" Hands


Jackson started his career at Trinity Valley Junior College, and found himself a regular starter by the end of his first year with the Cougars in 2013. He stepped up his game as a junior to become a second-team American Athletic Conference pick (two interceptions, 10 pass breakups), ranking among the national leaders in pass breakups before suffering a sprained MCL late in the year. Jackson tweaked a knee during 2015, but started 12 of 13 games, again was named second-team all-conference and finished with five interceptions and 23 pass breakups, leading the nation in passes defended.

Pro Day Results

20-yard short shuttle: 4.32 seconds
3-cone: 6.86 seconds



Good height and length. Stays low from a smooth backpedal. Plays with capable makeup speed when receivers get separation. Can click and close on throws in front of him with acceleration and has makeup speed deep. Possesses ball skills that defensive back coaches covet. Gets his head around to find ball on downfield throws and has excellent disruptive timing when attacking the throw. Instinctive and quick to diagnose and react to his keys. Allowed just 40 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed over last two years. Has feel for routes and will adjust coverage accordingly. Had three interceptions and scored two defensive touchdowns this season.


Average play strength and isn't as physical from press coverage as he could be. Might be knocked around by big NFL receivers if he's asked to press. Will get upright when transitioning from backpedal. Shows momentary delay when opening to run which can put him behind in footrace with speedy receivers. Tape shows instance of him getting knocked off balance at the top of the route. Will get hung up on perimeter blocks and isn't aggressive in run support. Too willing to run around block in support against screens. Was flagged seven times for 73 yards.

Draft Projection

Rounds 1 or 2

NFL Comparison

Phillip Gaines

Bottom Line

Tall cornerbacks with length who can run and play the football are usually in high demand and that could be the case for Jackson as well. While he has the traits for the position, the league is turning into small and fast or big and strong at the receiver spot and handling those two elements could take a year or two for him to improve in before he becomes a full-­time starter.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster