Darius Jackson, RB
School: Eastern Michigan | Conference: MAC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 220 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Late Rounds or UDFA
NFL Comparison: Rashad Jennings
Darius Jackson is sort of an enigma. He has the size and speed NFL scouts drool over and recently had an amazing Pro Day where he tested extremely well in every category. You would think his combination of speed and size would lend itself to him dominating the lesser competition in the MAC. He did dominate except for the times he didn't. Jackson has 3 games this year where he's rushed for under 60 yards. While that isn't terrible at face value you want to see more out of a player with such athletic and physical talent. Then comes the issue of Jackson playing on a terrible Eastern Michigan team (they only won 1 game this year). The offensive line was terrible and the team constantly played from behind and passed a lot to try and get back in the game. When you look at it from that standpoint the production Jackson managed to put up this year becomes more impressive.
He is likely a day 3 prospect and conversations about him not playing to his size v. dominating the competition v. being on a terrible team are sure to have been discussed by teams looking for a running back late across the NFL. Teams will also be weighing the gravity of if his senior season. Is it an indication of his future or more of a one hit wonder?
- Tough to bring down in the open field has the speed and size to shake off arm and ankle tackles.
- Excellent size for the position and great athletic ability.
- Good lateral bounce ability to take it around the edge.
- Durable and only has a career fumble rate of %1.86
- Technique / fundamental issues. Tall and doesn't play low enough when going a short distance. A lot of momentum and power is drained on impact because he loses the physics battle.
- Vision lacking between the tackles.
- Test results don't always show up on the field.
Let's see his work:
RB Darius Jackson (who had the crazy pro day): classic sleeper. EMU went 1-11. He had 365 career touches. 14/229 touches in '15 went for 20+— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) April 14, 2016
Interesting mid-late round player visited the Jets earlier this week: Eastern Michigan RB Darius Jackson, per source.— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) April 13, 2016
Almost slipped through the cracks but Darius Jackson/RB/Eastern Michigan visited NY Jets on Monday..Baltimore, Miami, Detroit next— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) April 13, 2016
Darius Jackson official pro day: 4.40 forty, 1.56 split, 21 bench, 41" vert, 11'1" broad, 4.29 ss, 6.87 cone. 6'0"/220. 2 sigma??— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) April 3, 2016
There's a power back with good speed and potential 3-down ability no one is talking about. I've never talked about him here, either.— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) March 26, 2016
@erikschlitt love Darius Jackson's athleticism. I also really love Jordan Howard as a Joique replacement too.— Alex Reno (@alex_reno) March 26, 2016
Rewatching some Darius Jackson/RB/EMU after his awesome pro day piqued curiosity. There's a lot to like. https://t.co/lA66JG2Evi— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) March 21, 2016
Pro Day Results
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
I think there are better well put together running backs in this draft but if for some reason the Redskins don't address the position until the late rounds Jackson could be an intriguing option. His stock has been steadily trending upward since his Pro Day and he has been invited to workout and meet with several teams before the draft. His athletic ability and his size will most likely get him drafted but there are a lot of questions he will have to answer at he pro level. Does he take coaching well? Can he improve his vision? Can he get down and bowl people over like his build suggests? If he can he could be a solid and "cheap" investment in the running back position for a team. I think the Redskins need to add size and durability to the RB core. Jackson could provide the size and athletic ability but he doesn't have all the tools yet. If the Redskins draft Jackson it signals that they are content with Matt Jones and Chris Thompson doing a lot of the heavy lifting, which I'm not so sure is true.
Jackson has too many question marks for me to be wowed strictly by his Pro Day but he does show some promise have produced behind a terrible offensive line and at a sub-par program. If the coaching staff see's something in him I doubt he would be worth a draft choice higher than a 6th rounder.