CB #3 William Jackson III, Houston

6’2” – 195 lbs. – 4.55e

Began his collegiate career at Trinity Valley Community College before transferring to Houston. Started four of thirteen games as a sophomore, then became a permanent starter the following season, a role he retained as a senior. Very tall, long-limbed cornerback with good bulk for the position; looks more like a free safety and can match up against bigger wide receivers. Has an aggressive, confident on-field temperament. Plays both boundary positions depending on the specific matchup. Mostly employed in man coverage, whether from press-man, a few yards off the line, or well off the line of scrimmage; more snaps in which he was asked to use his length to jam opponents at the line of scrimmage or work in zone coverage would have been useful. Looks most comfortable when he’s able to defend against fairly straightforward downfield routes in which he’s able to turn and run after getting his hands on an opposing receiver. Quickness is just average for the position; struggles to break down in the open field and has some trouble against double-moves, especially quicker “whip” routes. Lacks elite speed, but has some ability to generate explosion when planting his feet and driving on the ball, such as against screen passes or curl routes. A little bit flat-footed, making him susceptible to stop-and-go routes; will sit on the short route and lacks the elite recovery speed to catch up afterward. Lost track of downfield receivers a bit too often when working with safety help over the top. At times, however, is able to compensate for positioning, which leaves something to be desired, because of his impressive radius. Has good body control and uses his length well; has impressive ball skills and soft hands to secure interceptions. However, production appears to be inflated, taking advantage of poorly-thrown balls when he wasn’t in the in-phase. Despite his size, is just an average tackler; something of an enforcer because he’s both physical and willing, but frequently tries to be more of a hitter than a technique tackler. Also made some contributions on punt-return units, blocking opposing gunners. A three-year starter with rare size and length and a desirable temperament, Jackson wasn’t always asked to play to his strengths, but was able to mask his average athleticism relatively well and could end up being a better pro than college player. Could theoretically fit in various defensive schemes, ideally working against bigger position receivers with some safety help over the top; a solid Combine could earn him a second-day selection.

Games watched: Pittsburgh (’14), Florida St. (’15), Tulane (’15)

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