USC Trojans cornerback/wide receiver/return specialist Adoree’ Jackson announced that he will be entering the 2017 NFL Draft.
Jackson is arguably the most explosive return specialist in the 2017 draft class, and has been dangerous with the ball in his hands as a receiver as well. However, despite winning the Jim Thorpe Award, Jackson was often a liability in USC’s secondary.
While he has a knack for the big play (five interceptions in 2016), Jackson is a gambler who gives up plenty of game-changing plays as well. Jackson allowed six touchdowns this past season, including three on plays over 30 yards.
How NFL teams evaluate Jackson could depend on how they feel about his style of play. As an extremely aggressive cornerback, Jackson had 11 pass breakups to go with his five interceptions. However, his completion percentage allowed in coverage was well over the average at 50 percent.
Most cornerbacks will give up a high percentage of receptions on passes within 10 yards, but the elite corners drop their completion percentage allowed to 33 percent or lower beyond the 10 yard mark. Jackson, however, still allowed a 45 percent completion rate on throws 10 or more yards downfield.
Due to his struggles at cornerback, Jackson’s future in the NFL could be at wide receiver.
Much like Devin Hester—who had just 10 career receptions while mostly playing cornerback at Miami—Jackson’s explosive ability with the ball in his hands may outweigh his long-term potential at cornerback.
During the 2016 season, Jackson had just nine touches on offense but generated 127 yards and seven missed tackles on those plays.