William Jackson signs contract with Cincinnati Bengals

  • By Tyler Dragon NFL.com
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The Cincinnati Bengals put ink to paper with their 2016 first-round pick William Jackson on Friday, the team announced.

Jackson, the Bengals' No. 24 overall pick out of the University of Houston, is Cincinnati's third cornerback selected in the first round since 2012 (2012: Dre Kirkpatrick and 2014: Darqueze Dennard).

The Bengals now have all seven of their 2016 draft picks under contract.

"It's great to have all our guys officially in the fold before our minicamp next week," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement, "and (William Jackson) is obviously at the head of that list. We see him as a guy can come in right away and make the 46-man roster on Sundays. He's got excellent athletic skills, speed, length and a lot of great qualities to be a great player at the pro level. His ability to play the ball in the air, to play around receivers and not be cumbersome around receivers, is just excellent."

The six-foot corner led the nation with a school-record 23 pass breakups in 2015, in addition to five interceptions.

Jackson has a good opportunity to take Leon Hall's spot on the depth chart now that the veteran is no longer in Cincy. Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones are slated to start with Dennard, who's coming back from shoulder surgery.