OT Austin Jackson, Southern California*

6’6” – 310 lbs.

Grandfather also played tackle at USC and went on to spend five years with the Packers. Appeared in all fourteen games in a reserve capacity during his true freshman season, then stepped into the starting left tackle role the following season. Reprised that role as a junior before declaring for the draft. Well-built blindside protector who has the requisite size and length to stick on the outside at the pro level. Athletically gifted blocker who has very good lateral quickness to mirror in pass protection. Knee bender who is capable of getting adequate depth in his kickslide to protect the edge against speed. Keeps his hands loaded and ready to punch; pretty aggressive about attacking opposing pass-rushers. Looks comfortable getting out in space, engaging or obstructing second-level defenders in order to lead the way on screens. However, looks pretty inconsistent on a play-to-play basis, both in terms of his technique and results. Whiffs on too many of his punches and is forced to abandon his technique to protect the edge; can be grabby when recovering and needs to do a better job of keeping his hands high and inside. Balance issues crop up frequently; often lowers his head into contact or gets caught bending at the waist. Falls off of too many blocks. Anchor can be late to drop and is just adequate overall; plays with an inconsistent base. Physical and aggressive tackle who works hard to stick with opposing defenders in the run game. Has the short-area quickness to set up and wall off opponents, or climb up to the second level and get in the way of a linebacker. Plays with some nastiness but is more of a wall-off blocker overall who tends to get a little bit high out of his stance and whose legs can sometimes go dead on contact. Issues with balance and sustaining blocks carry over into the run game. Looks like a prospect who could have really benefited from another year in school, as his balance, hand placement, and overall technique leave a lot to be desired. That said, he has all of the physical and athletic tools teams look for in a blindside protector, and given the importance attached to the position in the modern game, may still end up coming off the board in the first round as a boom-or-bust pick for a team confident in their ability to mold his raw talent and iron out the several kinks in his game.

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