Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

49ers second-round pick Drake Jackson pumped to be on the same team as Nick Bosa, Kris Kocurek

Apr 29, 2022 at 7:48 PM--

Drake Jackson's excitement over joining the San Francisco 49ers was exceedingly palpable on Friday night when he spoke to reporters for the first time since getting selected by the team with the 61st overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Jackson sounded like he couldn't have been more thrilled to be a 49er, and it's easy to understand why. The 21-year-old defensive end out of USC will get a chance to grow and develop under one of the NFL's top defensive line coaches in Kris Kocurek, while also being able to play with one of the league's elite pass rushers in Nick Bosa.

Needless to say, Jackson is excited to get to the Bay Area and start his NFL career.

"I'm jumping for joy right now," Jackson said. "Right after this I think I'm going to jump into the pool with everybody. I'm just going to get crazy."

Jackson spent some time as a hybrid outside linebacker at USC, where he totaled 103 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in three seasons. He's spent time in recent weeks bulking up and will help on the edge for the 49ers, giving Kocurek another tool to work with on an already talented defensive line.

"His philosophy is lovely," Jackson said of Kocurek. "It's one of those philosophies that's nasty. You've got to be willing to get nasty to take your reward. I like that type of stuff. That's really dog mentality, so I can't wait to get into it."

Kocurek spent some time with Jackson when Jackson traveled to the Bay Area for a top 30 visit with the 49ers earlier in the spring. Jackson was able to get a handle on what the 49ers plan to do with him and came away thinking he'd be a good fit for Kocurek's style.

"When I went up there for the 30 visit, I got to go into his room and we really attacked where he sees me fit," Jackson said. "I was able to talk a little ball with him. I love to play for a coach who's fired up like that and who wants a lot out of his guys. It's a challenge. I'm willing to take on that challenge. I want to be happy and I want to make him happy as well. I can't wait to get to it with a legendary coach like that."

Bosa will likely be happy to welcome Jackson aboard as a teammate given the help Jackson is capable of giving him on the defensive line. When Bosa gets to meet Jackson, he'll encounter a very eager young player looking to learn every trick Bosa can teach him.

"I hope he's excited to be my teammate -- as excited as I am," Jackson said. "Because man, as soon as I get out there, I might try to find him and get a handshake from him (and ask) 'Man, when are you working out?' I'm trying to instantly get in there and start getting the knowledge and things that I need to (be a) pro.

"He's a monster," Jackson added. "He puts fear into tackles' eyes. I just want to be able to be the same way."

Jackson may need some time to continue to bulk up and develop, but he'll be an intriguing piece of the puzzle for the 49ers on the defensive line this season and beyond. He brings plenty of athleticism and potential to the table, and he's eager as can be to join Kocurek and Bosa on the defensive line.

"It felt like I walked outside of my body, almost," Jackson said about getting the call from the 49ers. "I couldn't believe it. My whole life was dedicated to this moment. Everything's been ball. I've never done anything else. It's always been ball. I've always done the things I needed to do to get to this place."

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