Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Josh Jackson - 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Josh Jackson was an absolute revelation this year. He went from being a guy who some fans weren't sure was good enough to start for the team to being named the best defensive back in the entire Big Ten. It was an incredible year so it made sense for him to leave school early to go to the NFL. And although Jackson had plenty of highlights, I wanted to take a deeper look at things by studying his tape against Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Purdue.

I am about to give a whole lot of positives regarding Josh Jackson. But, to start, I will point out the one negative that kept popping up in his coverage, and that was the cushion that he gave receivers off of the line of scrimmage.

Right here, Jackson really gives himself no chance of success. He's only lined up about five yards off the line of scrimmage, but he immediately jumps back at the snap, and then he loses ground by getting picked by the referee in the middle. On a third-and-five play, he needs to be more aggressive on the receiver, as this is an easy conversion for Penn State for the first down.

The only other possible negative would be his speed which is definitely a question mark, but in teh games I watched, it wasn't really an issue. Also, as we'll talk about later on, if Jackson can even stay remotely close, he's going to make it hard on any receiver to make a play.

Josh Jackson is a very smart player. Here, he carries the receiver running deep far enough for the safety come comfortably over the top, but recognizes the underneath route.

The second that the quarterback sets his feet to go for that underneath route, Jackson stops and attacks the football for the interception.

Josh Jackson did an excellent job of undercutting routes this past season.

Instead of trying to play over the top and hoping to break up a pass, Jackson lets the receiver get beyond him while using his hands to jam him up enough to stay close. He then cuts right under the receiver's route to get his hands on the ball and rip it away from what turns out to be a helpless receiver for the interception.

He can also undercut out routes as well.

I would say that it doesn't get any easier than that, but he actually had another pick-six that was easier than that in the Wisconsin game where he basically caught a pop up and just had to jog into the end zone from there.

Advice for quarterbacks: Do not throw a fade on Josh Jackson.


If you're going to throw to your wide receiver, make sure he has a couple steps on Jackson, as then there will be no way for him to do anything about it...

OH CRAP. Just don't throw towards Josh Jackson. Your life will be much easier if you just avoid a bad situation.

When you watch Josh Jackson's junior season, it's impossible to not come away impressed. He dominated his competition, and the only time he didn't make a big play was when quarterbacks were too scared to throw it to his side of the field. Still, there are question marks. I would have liked to see him be more aggressive in coverage at times, and I also think there is the giant concern of him not really covering anybody of importance in the Big Ten. I mean, he was simply never given the opportunity, so it is a question mark on whether he has the athletic ability to keep up with top receivers in the NFL. He also has a very short track record of success as this was not the guy Hawkeye fans saw during his first two seasons as he could barely hold onto playing time before last season. But man, those ball skills are legit, and it gives you something to dream on. Still, I think the lack of athleticism keeps him from being an elite corner. I do think he becomes a very good second cornerback, but I can't buy him covering number one guys until I actually have a chance to see it. There's still a lot of value in that, and I think a team that takes him in the second round or later will be incredibly pleased with their decision.

Iowa Scouting Reports:
Josey Jewell - Linebacker

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