Of all the late round gems this draft has to offer, one player that has consistently jumped out at me is former Tennessee FS/SS Janzen Jackson.
Tennessee fans often times confused him for Eric Berry when the two started in the defensive backfield during Jackson's freshman season. After seeing his 2009 highlights it's easy to see why this guy was one of Lane Kiffin's top three recruits while at Tennessee and a guy who many thought would step right in and fill Eric Berry's shoes from Day 1. His on the field performance was phenomenal. He was a five star recruit and the number 2 cb in the 2009 class.
After recording 37 tackles, a sack, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery as a true freshman, Jackson was named to Rivals.com's 2009 SEC All-Freshman Team. As a sophomore in 2010, Jackson started all 12 regular season games and compiled 65 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, a sack, 9 passes defended and 5 interceptions and was named to the All-SEC second team voted by the league's coaches. Going itno his junior year which many felt would be the year that differentiated him as a future 1st/2nd round pick, Jackson was released from the team and trasferred to McNeese State where he started three games before leaving the team by choice. He does come with character concerns, but this guy can hit and cover like a 1st or 2nd round player and can be had late on day three. If teams are willing to burn a 1st round pick on Janoris Jenkins, why not burn a 6th/7th round pick on this guy. In an elite defense and strong locker room, this guy may get the push that he needs to become a franchise starter.
If for some reason we are unable to resign Dashon Goldson, this is a player that, if motivated, can become a franchise starter and be one of our top 2 safeties (starting opposite of Whitner). Even if we are to resign Goldson, Jackson would provide us much needed depth as we are unlikely to resign Reggie Smith/Madieu Williams.
Below is his bio and highlight tape from his 2009 season. His description sounds EXACTLY like Dashon Goldson, which I found ironic.
FS Janzen Jackson: McNeese State (6-0, 190)
A former five-star recruit who enrolled at Tennessee in 2009 and played immediately in the secondary. Is a good athlete with a "plus" first step, gets up to speed quickly and looks like a 4.4 guy in the deep half. Possesses a solid feel when asked to decipher routes in front of him. Takes good angles toward the throw, can undercut routes and exhibits "plus" ball skills. Showcases a good closing burst and settles his feet well when asked to track vertically and adjust to the throw.
However, is raw with his footwork in his drop. Doesn't sit into his backpedal, stays upright and almost bounces backward toward the deep half. Struggles maintaining balance in and out of his breaks because he plays too high and narrow, and initially has a tough time re-directing. Wastes too much motion when trying to initially change directions and too often is forced to turn his back to the football in order to gather himself. Exhibits natural fluidity in the hips when looking to turn and run, just plays too high.
Overall feel and instincts are solid. However, will get caught with his eyes in the backfield at times and stop moving his feet. Showcases the range to make up for a slow read or false step when asked to turn and run, but at times will take himself out of plays in the deep half jumping routes and making a poor read.
Showcases some power/violence as a tackler. Isn't afraid to throw his body around when asked to come up and play the run. Generates a good pop on contact and can disengage ball from man. However, struggles to breakdown and balance himself once a ball carrier can square him up. Has a tendency to play out of control and throw his body around with reckless abandon. Isn't the most balanced or consistent of wrap-up guys and will give up some big plays when coming downhill simply whiffing into contact.
Does have some character concerns. Was dismissed from the Tennessee program in 2010. Transferred to McNeese State in 2011 where he played in nine games and recorded two interceptions.
Impression: A talented kid who can run, track the football and can be a violent striker on contact. However, isn't the most sound of wrap-up guys, is raw with his footwork and has character concerns. Nevertheless, has the talent to play in the NFL and should get a shot because of his ability to run and strike."
[ Edited by 49oz2superbowl on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:05 AM ]