Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: Iowa, Utah, Fresno St, 2018 Vs: UCLA
Report By: Bobby Greco
He is an athletic freak at the LT position. He is explosive off the line and snaps into his pass set very fast. Still a raw product, but has an extremely high ceiling and can develop into a stud NFL tackle. Needs to improve his lateral movement, has a very hard time stopping a hard inside rush. He has all the abilities you want in a left tackle, just needs to be coached right and get some technique. Watching his film, you could see he was probably the best player on that offense and it definitely hurt Jackson's play at times. If he gets put into a good situation, he will flourish. Unfortunately, the USC offense was just way too inconsistent and it showed in the player’s performances across the board.
RUN BLOCKING: 7.48
Movement off L.O.S.: 7.30
Reach Block: 7.80
Pull & Block Outside: 7.40
Adjust In Space: 7.50
Use of Hands: 7.20
If he gets his hands on the defender, it's usually a win. He is a big powerful lineman but can get off balance easily. Again, he was by far the best player on the O-Line and there were times where the line as a unit would completely break down. It made it difficult to see who exactly missed their block because it seemed as if the entire D-Line would be in the backfield. Jackson still deserves decent grades here though, because he personally made a lot of good blocks. He has great hip flexibility and is able to pull and get outside very smoothly, it all just comes down to techniques. He definitely has the traits to be a Pro-Bowl caliber tackle, but it will not be right away, so the team that drafts him will need to be patient.
PASS BLOCKING: 7.63
Quick Set: 8.10
Protect Corner: 8.00
Footwork / Redirect & Slide: 7.20
Anchor / Reset Ability: 7.70
Handle Games/Stunts: 7.50
Hands / Punch: 7.30
Pass protection is where he really flourishes, as he is very fast getting in his pass set and has an excellent kick slide. He has a strong initial punch and when he locks his arms on a pass rusher, it's usually a W for him. However, he can also lose his balance easily and has a bad habit of lunging at a defender, especially when taking on a blitz. His biggest issue that absolutely needs to be addressed before he becomes a starter is stopping an inside rush. This to me shows a real lack of technique coaching, because he has really good feet and understands the offense, but has trouble with some of the basics of O-Line play. That being said he has all the tools to be a great NFL lineman, he just needs to learn to use them. Look at this past season's Iowa game. He was up to the task of blocking A.J. Epenesa and really dominated him, but when he would rush inside he did damage. This also shows his inconsistency stopping a stunt, sometimes he does it with ease and sometimes he gets completely lost.
Consistency / Motor: 7.80
Regardless of what he does on the field, this is one tough individual. Before the 2019 season, Jackson made the selfless decision to donate his bone marrow to his sister, that was suffering from a deadly disease and still did what he needed to do to be ready for the season. If that isn't the mark of toughness, I don't know what is. He also has a great motor for a lineman and never gives up on a play, even if he gets beat off the snap. A very important quality in a good lineman is the way he fights after being beat, what is his reaction and how does he try to fix the mistake during the play. For instance this year vs Utah, he was beaten a couple of times right away and yet stayed in the play and even got his QB out of a sack. He had great production too, playing every game as a freshman on special teams and starting the rest of his career at LT. Being a great special teams player is something NFL teams will really, which could boost his draft stock.
He gets lower grades here because he doesn't have all the instincts you would want him to have. He understands the offense and who his assignments are on any play, he just doesn't have the secondary instincts that make an elite lineman. The same can be said about his retention, but it comes down to coaching here. These are all things that when watching his film, you can see he just didn't know. Once he gets with a pro team, these issues should be very fixable. On the other hand, he is a great team player and should flourish at the next level.
Pass protection is a major strength of his. He's big and strong, yet still super fast getting into his pass set. You are also getting a very tough player and a leader in him. He is probably the most athletic tackle in the draft, combining his size and skill set. He someone I consider a freak athlete for an LT.
Instincts and hand use. He also has a lot of trouble stopping an inside rush, he needs to work on that before he can become a starter. NFL players will expose that weakness real quick and that is a major issue because the fastest route to the QB is your inside gap.
Jackson is the total package of an NFL prospect. He is not only a great player, but he is also a great person. He comes from a good family and that was on display when he made that decision of donating his bone marrow to his sister. He will be a little bit of a project, but it's a project worth doing. Personally I think Jackson can be a Pro-Bowl caliber lineman, add his off the charts intangibles and you might have something special in hand. He is a bigger player, but I think his skill set is very comparable with Eagles Lane Johnson. I see him going mid-late 1st round and would be a perfect fit for a team like Minnesota.