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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

49ers make USC DE Drake Jackson a 2nd-round draft pick

Apr 29, 2022 at 6:15 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers selected USC defensive end Drake Jackson with the 29th pick (No. 61 overall) in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The 49ers met with Jackson at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Jackson registered 37 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, five sacks, a pass defensed, an interception, and a forced fumble through 10 game appearances as a junior in 2021, per Sports Reference. He recorded 103 tackles, 25 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, and two interceptions through three seasons with the Trojans.

Jackson is from Corona, CA. He earned a pre-draft grade of 6 from NFL.com, which equates to an "above-average backup," per the site's 8-point grading scale.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, the 6' 2 5/8" and 254-pound Jackson had a vertical jump of 36.5 inches and a broad jump of 127 inches. His other measurables include an arm length of 34 inches and hands measuring 10 1/8 inches.

At his school Pro Day, Jackson had a vertical jump of 30.70 inches and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.62 seconds.

NFL.com projected Jackson to be a third-round draft pick.

Below is the NFL.com draft profile bio on Jackson:

Jackson's father prophetically asked hospital staff to put "Drake Jackson from the University of Southern California, starting linebacker coming in at 260" on his son's birth certificate. Still, the recruiting process for the top-60 prospect nationally came down to the wire before he chose the Trojans after an outstanding career at Centennial High School in Corona, California. After enrolling early, he was a Freshman All-American in 2019, starting 11 games at defensive end and leading USC with 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks and adding 46 total stops and three pass breakups. Jackson earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors that season and as an outside linebacker in 2020 (20 tackles, 5.5 for loss with two sacks, one interception in six starts) and 2021 (37 tackles, eight for loss with a career-high five sacks, one interception in 11 games with 10 starts). -- by Chad Reuter

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, who compares Jackson to Eli Harold, wrote the following within his scouting report:

Jackson lacks play strength but has the frame to add muscle and mass. He's a loose-limbed, restless pass rusher with the activity level to find angles and openings in both his primary and secondary rush. However, he lacks successful counters to do it consistently against stronger tackles. Jackson also lacks the take-on toughness and functional anchor needed to hold up at the point on run downs. He has developmental rush potential, but needs a major upgrade in grit and technique against the run.

Drae Harris of The Draft Network wrote the following about Jackson within his scouting report:

Jackson is a third-year junior who aligns as an edge defender for the Trojans defense. He is a good reactive athlete, as evidenced by his get-off, swivel, and bend on the edge. In the run game, he is seemingly most effective when plays are run away from him, as he has moments of struggling when he is a play-side defender. Conversely, he can bend, get in the gaps, and disrupt run plays in the backfield with quickness and agility when he can use his athleticism and speed to pursue the football. When plays are run at him, he can be inconsistent. When linemen get their hands on him, he can struggle to disengage. Although he displays good length on the edge, he is only sufficient as an edge setter. In the passing game, he uses his athleticism to beat linemen on the edge. He's a little unrefined as a pass rusher but wins with pure athleticism and quickness. He effortlessly drops into coverage and is even athletic enough to walk out in coverage over slot receivers. Jackson has moments where he feels like a finesse player who doesn't play with the violent, contact-seeking temperament you'd like to see from defenders. He can afford to improve his strength at the point of attack. As a result, when linemen get their hands on him, he struggles to disengage. He exposes his chest much too much as a pass rusher and overall has been really inconsistent as a defender. Although somewhat unrefined as a pass rusher, Jackson has some redeeming value due to his length and athleticism on the edge.


Height: 6' 2 5/8"
Weight: 254 lbs.
Arm length: 34 inches
Hand length: 10 1/8 inches

NFL Scouting Combine

Vertical: 36.5 inches
Broad jump: 127 inches

College Statistics
Year School Class G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk
2019 USC FR 11 26 20 46 11.5 5.5
2020 USC SO 6 8 12 20 5.5 2
2021 USC JR 10 23 14 37 8 5
Total USC 57 46 103 25 12.5

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