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Breaking down USC DE Drake Jackson to the 49ers

Rohan Chakravarthi
Apr 29, 2022 at 6:27 PM--

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The pick is in!

The San Francisco 49ers made their first selection of the 2022 NFL Draft, taking defensive end Drake Jackson out of USC.

The 49ers missed out on a first-round pick this year, as their 2022 first-rounder was involved in the trade up for quarterback Trey Lance last offseason.

Jackson, a three-year starter at USC, had 12.5 career sacks at USC, including a forced fumble and an interception in 2021.

Jackson, who stood at 6'3, 254-pounds at the NFL Combine, has a long reach with 34' arms, and tested well with a 36.5' vertical jump and a 127' broad jump.

Jackson slots in as a pass-rush specialist, using his athleticism and long strides as his main abilities to get to the quarterback.

His fit matches well with the 49ers as he won't be rushed into action early, given San Francisco's elite depth at the edge-rusher position.

The 49ers attended USC's Pro Day earlier in the offseason, where Jackson was the prime spotlight, and continue their trend of defensive linemen as their first selection.

Jackson will require polish at the NFL level, but with an adequate amount of players available at all positions of need for the 49ers, the team went best-player-available, preferring the edge-rusher over the intrigue of a safety or an interior offensive lineman.

Earlier this week, Jackson was getting first-round hype from the media, as the Athletic's Dane Brugler mocked the USC product to the Green Bay Packers at the 28th pick.

To put it short, at 61, Jackson is a good value pick.

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