Justin Jackson

Northwestern
RB

Prospect Info

College
Northwestern
Hometown
Class
Carol Stream, FL
Senior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 0"
199 lbs
30 5/8”
Hands
9 1/4”

Prospect Grade

5.33
NFL Backup or Special Teams Potential
How We Grade

2018 Draft Results

Drafted by
Los Angeles Chargers
Chargers
Round 7 ‧ Pick 33
40 Yard Dash
4.52
Seconds
 
Bench Press
13
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
38.5
INCHES
 
Broad Jump
122.0
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
6.81
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
4.07
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
11.06
Seconds
 
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One of the most successful high school running backs in Illinois history (6,531 yards, 85 touchdowns), Jackson has also made his way into the record books in his collegiate career. He started five of 12 games as a true freshman, but led the Wildcats in rushing each week, finishing with 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns on 245 carries (22 catches, 201 yards, one touchdown receiving) to earn honorable mention All-Big Ten notice from league coaches. Jackson was a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2015, racking up 1,418 yards and five scores on 312 carries (ranked third in the FBS), along with 21 catches and 162 yards as a receiver. Jackson's workload abated a bit in 2016, but he still carried the rock 226 times for 1,300 yards and 12 scores -- and caught 33 passes for 210 yards -- in a second-team all-conference junior season by coaches. He topped off the year with a 224-yard, three-score effort against Pitt in the Pinstripe Bowl where he showed off his quickness, vision, and efficient running style. The leading rusher in Northwestern history became the ninth player in NCAA history to have four years with 1,000 yards. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection with 287 carries for 1,311 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing along with 44 catches for 276 receiving yards. Justin's older brother, Phil, was a running back at Northwest Missouri State from 2012-2016.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 6-7
NFL Comparison
Taiwan Jones
Overview
Jackson is a productive, durable runner with the foot quickness and agility to make defenders miss on all levels of the field, but has a thin frame that could turn some teams off. While Jackson carried a heavy workload in college, he's unlikely to find that opportunity in the pros. Jackson's elusiveness gives him a shot at a backup role, but he will need to improve as a third-down option.
Strengths
  • Unorthodox running style creates early indecisiveness in tacklers
  • Has decent initial burst when he has a clear track to follow
  • Slippery, flexible upper body is able to contort around interior tacklers
  • Has some decent maneuverability in tight quarters to find hidden yardage in a crowd
  • Able to gather feet and sink hips for sharp, downhill cuts
  • Looks natural stringing jump-cuts together when he finds a rhythm
  • Lateral cuts can be sudden and elongated for greater escapes
  • Plays with toughness
  • Has quickness and tools to become a more dangerous route-runner out of the backfield
  • Elusiveness can help him turn a four-yard dump pass into a third-and-long conversion
Weaknesses
  • Slightly built with spindly legs and thin waist
  • Sets up in knock-kneed stance pre-snap
  • Runs with narrow base
  • Doesn't have lower body power to resist arm tackles
  • Tacklers finish his runs for him
  • Herky-jerky, segmented runner needs to smooth out approach
  • Accesses hitch step too often on stretch plays limiting his play speed
  • Leggy runner with upright gait
  • Defaults to early jukes and fakes rather than utilizing "see and go" approach
  • Hands can be clumsy when attempting to catch throws below his waist
  • Had to carry heavy workload for four years
  • One of just two players over last 20 years to have 1,100 career rush attempts

News

Path to the Draft

Final quick-snap 2018 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams

Best and most worrisome picks from the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Rounds 2, 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft

GRADE
9.00-10
Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99
Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99
Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49
Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49
Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99
Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49
NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99
Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
NO GRADE
Likely needs time in developmental league