CB Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh

6’0” – 187 lbs. – 4.57

Played quarterback in high school. Redshirted, then started three of twelve games the following year, finishing with 18 tackles, four breakups, and a pick-six. Took over a starting role the following season and ended up with 41 tackles, nine breakups, and two interceptions. As a junior, picked up 47 tackles and thirteen breakups, then finished with 43 tackles, twelve breakups, and an interception as a senior. A pretty lanky cornerback whose size is in line with pro requirements but who looks a little bit thin on tape, and whose arm measurements were just adequate at the Combine. Often lined up in a press alignment from the boundary, although he will occasionally bail out post-snap, and plays some shuffle as well; didn’t see a lot of backpedaling or zone on tape. Wasn’t really asked to get physical at the line of scrimmage, but has pretty good footwork to match releases from press looks. Looks like he’s able to match outside releases and pin opponents to the sidelines with his length. Able to use his hands to feel routes developing, and provides pretty tight coverage through the route stem. Generally looks pretty light on his feet, although he’s not necessary the most balanced cornerback through breaks and there are some minor technical flaws to clean up (for example, turning away from the receiver rather than into them). Overall deep speed will be a question after running a 4.57 at the Combine, but is fast enough on tape to provide tight coverage on some difficult crossing routes which are speed-reliant. For someone who just converted to cornerback in the past few years, overall feel for routes developing is very impressive and allows him to overcome athleticism which is closer to adequate than elite. Looks smooth transitioning to planting and driving on a spot when targeted, arriving in time to break up passes; capable of getting inside positioning when defending against slants and crosses to break up attempts. Does a good job of getting his hand around an opponent’s waist and using the other to bat away targets. Overall flexibility and instincts allow him to make a lot of plays on the ball, despite lacking ideal length. However, can be a little bit grabby down the sidelines and needs to get his head around and locate more quickly to avoid penalties. Gets extension when taking on blockers and uses wrap technique in run support. A flexible cornerback who has a good feel for the position despite not having played it in high school, his flexibility and instincts allowed him to break up a lot of passes at Pittsburgh, although he lacks elite speed and explosiveness and may need to add more bulk at the next level. Looks like a solid mid-round pick.

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