6’1” – 257 – 4.80e
2011: 109 – 17.0 – 3.5, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 PD, 1 INT
2012: 122 – 17.5 – 2.0 – 4 FF, 1 PD
Appeared in just one game as a freshman before assuming the starting middle linebacker role as a sophomore, being named to the All-Sun Belt First Team based on his team-leading figures in both tackles and tackles for loss. He led the team in tackles again as a junior, being named to the All-Sun Belt First Team once again.
• Will enter the draft with three productive years of starting experience.
• Very thickly-built player who would comfortably translate to a 3-4.
• Quick to recognize plays and frequently gets to the hole before the back.
• Powerful hitter and tackler who can drive ballcarriers back on contact.
• Can shed blocks well due to overall strength and active hand use.
• Has a little bit more speed than anticipated, augmenting recognition.
• Capable of getting pressure on quarterbacks as a blitzing option.
• Has a non-stop motor which keeps him in plenty of plays.
• Held his own against major collegiate programs such as Alabama.
• Height is a little bit less than ideal and may be listed slightly high.
• Production is inflated from having played against Sun Belt competition.
• Plays faster than expected but still lacks ideal athleticism for the position.
• Lacks the speed to chase down runners from behind in pursuit.
• Probably not the best option for a coverage-based defensive scheme.
• Can do a little bit of zone coverage but could be exploited against backs.
• A strict middle/inside ‘backer for most schemes, possible 3-4 “elephant.”
Despite having played for a small-school program, Jackson is one of the most pro-ready inside linebackers in the draft, with a thick, powerful build, effective recognition skills and pursuit angles, and sound tackling skills. He’s best suited for a SILB role in a three-man front but could play MLB in a 4-3 as well if necessary. His play versus talented programs should help allay concerns about having played for Western Kentucky. RD 2-3