Photo of Eddie Jackson
Drafted By: Bears
  • Round 4
  • Pick 5
  • Overall 112

Combine Results

Grade
5.4 ?
  • 10 REPS
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

Chicago's pass defense has been an issue for some time now. Jackson is coming off a season-ending injury, but he's one of the more versatile defensive backs in this draft. When healthy, he's a rare defender that puts points on the board when the ball's in his hands (5 TDs on INTs, punt returns since '15).--Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'0" Height
  • 32 1/4" Arm Length
  • 201LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/4" Hands

Overview

Jackson had a chance to leave for the NFL after an outstanding junior season in 2015, where he was a first-team All-SEC and third-team AP All-American selection (six interceptions, scoring on two). He decided to return, however, to help his team win back-to-back national championships. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken leg while returning a punt in the season's eighth game, ending his college career. Before that occurred, he had two punt returns for touchdowns in 2016 and secured second-team all-conference honors from league coaches with an interception and two pass break-ups. Jackson began his career in Tuscaloosa as a cornerback, starting four games as a freshman (20 tackles, one interception, two pass breakups). He tore his right ACL in spring 2014 practices, but still returned to start 10 games at corner in 2014 (41 tackles, two for loss, one INT, six PBU, two forced fumbles).

Analysis

Strengths

Has solid athleticism for the safety spot. Not a speed merchant but has the instincts and range to play over the top. Gets secondary lined up. Can cover tight ends and the occasional slot receiver. Former cornerback who played wide receiver in high school. Has the tracking, timing and hands to take the ball away when he gets his shot. Offers roster versatility. Returned two punts for touchdowns this season and has three career defensive touchdowns. Background as a returner makes him more dangerous than your average safety after an interception.

Weaknesses

Long, but lanky and not built for a physical pounding. Grab and drag tackler. Will do what he has to against the run, but he's not going to be a tone-setter with his hitting. Dominant defensive front made his job in coverage much easier. Had some easy, no-brainer interceptions float his way on overthrows. Can get too cute trying to stay glued to the quarterback's eyes rather than triggering towards his boundary help over the top. Will occasionally lose track of his deep ball responsibility. Has had two major injuries in his career that will draw plenty of attention at the combine.

Draft Projection

Round 4-5

Sources Tell Us

"He had like 10 first-rounders in front of him and lockdown corners who almost never needed help. He got to sit back and cherry-pick overthrows. That's great work if you can get it." - NFC South scout

Bottom Line

Former cornerback-turned-safety with decent instincts and good ball skills but a finesse mentality as a tackler relative to those around him. Jackson's background in man coverage and his ability to return punts should create some additional value for him, but he'll be pressed into much more difficult situations in the league. Jackson is an average NFL backup with immediate punt return possibilities.
-Lance Zierlein
C
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

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