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Will The Redskins Use More Man Coverage Next Season? Michael Jackson Could Be A Good Fit If So

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Virginia at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Jackson, CB
School: Miami | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 207 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd or 4th Round
NFL Comparison: M.J. Stewart

College Statistics

Player Overview

Jackson had a good high school career enough to earn him 3 starts by the recruiting boards so it was surprising that the Birmingham, Alabama native did not receiver offers from Auburn or Alabama. Instead Jackson looked to leave the state and chose Miami despite a late offer from Clemson. Known as ‘Mike Jack’ on campus Jackson quickly contributed to Miami largely on special teams his first two seasons in Coral Gables. Jackson got his first starting opportunity in 2017 and had a really impressive season, so much so that he was projected as a possible 1st round pick in preseason draft boards going into the 2018 season. Jackson has always been an instinctive corner who is highly competitive and who uses his size and length to his advantage. Unfortunately for Jackson he won’t sniff the first round in part because he couldn’t match his 2017 totals as far as interceptions are concerned and also in part because he will likely test as a ‘slow’ corner (4.55-4.65). Still Jackson has the skills and enough athleticism to be an effective boundary corner in the NFL. Testing will be huge for him.

Strengths

  • Excellent size, good athleticism, and length for the position. Arms came in at 32 3/8” when he measured at the East West Shrine game.
  • Calm and measured in defense. Natural in pass coverage with good instincts. Shows good fluidity in his turns and a smooth back peddle. Knows how to play with physicality and finesse. Can jam receivers at the LOS and bait passes by allowing some space before he closes to the ball.
  • Displayed some versatility in position as he worked as safety also during his career. His experience there could entice some teams to convert his position in the NFL.
  • Solid in run support, a reliable tackler, and can even bring pressure on blitzes.
  • Natural hands, has made some impressive interceptions in his career.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t have elite speed or quickness for the position and will be unable to stick with some of the faster receivers in the NFL.
  • Can give too much space to opposition and allow them to make the catch. I think he overestimates his closing speed and agility at times.
  • One season interception production. I think its fair to call him hot and cold at least for right now when it comes to turnovers. While just being a good cover corner is fine in the NFL turnovers separate top players from the rest hopefully he can be more consistent in this regard.
  • Much better in man coverage than in zone, I don’t think that moving him to safety (due to speed concerns) is that clear cut.

Let’s see his work:

More Michael Jackson videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

I don’t know anything about Ray Horton but he apparently is not only in charge of coaching defensive backs but possibly also ‘calling coverages’ for them which would be apart from what the defensive coordinator would do (if I have this incorrect please correct me). I have no idea how this strategy may work out for the Redskins or how it affects their assessments of corners and safeties going forward. Though my personal preference are corners with strong man cover skills in the past I would have said Jackson would not be a perfect fit because of how much zone coverage the Redskins play. Could this change under Horton? Maybe. If the Redskins are interested in playing more man coverage I think Jackson could fit in nicely. I think he has a lot of potential as a CB3 or CB4 starting out and is a player who could improve and eventually start on the boundary. You may think the Redskins have a lot of boundary corners (they do) but the team may move on from Norman and Dunbar will be entering the final two years of his contract starting next season. The position could once again be in flux very soon. You can never have too many corners will always be my motto and I think while the Redskins should be invested in developing and affording opportunity to their later round and supplemental selections at the position I also think its fair to say that these options are limited at best and likely will not achieve starting status under good circumstances. The big question is do you think Jackson is better than Alexander (who I assume will finally get some playing time next year) is he better than Greg Stroman? The answer may depend on if the Redskins add another boundary guy.