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Houston CB Jackson a rare playmaker who could interest the Redskins

Apr 15, 2016, 10:58 AM EDT


Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 13 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

William Jackson III

Height: 6-0
Weight: 189
40-yard dash: 4.37

Projected draft round: 1


What they’re saying

Having looked at all of the cornerbacks who are talked about for the first round, I am willing to say that William Jackson III is no worse than the second-best for me. He really was better than I expected to see when I first started this, and I really think he is capable of helping anyone in any scheme. I love his aggressiveness and his ability to be a ball hawk, as well as his ability to securely bring his man down. He is an older prospect, but that in no way takes away from his value.

Bob Sturm, Dallas Morning News

How he fits the Redskins: There is plenty of talk of them taking a defensive lineman in the first round. But with the draft so deep at the position, McCloughan’s strategy could be to go after a different position with his first pick and then come back in the second and get a D-lineman who represents just a slight drop off from the player he could have had in the first.

Cornerback is one of those positions of value that justifies a first-round pick and Jackson could be the best one on the board when the 21st pick is on the clock. At 6-0 with 31 3/4-inch arms he has the length that the Redskins like and the size needed to guard receivers like Dez Bryant.

Unlike some other top corners in the draft, Jackson has demonstrated the ability to make plays. He had five interceptions. Two other corners who could be considered at the Redskins’ draft spot, Eli Apple and Mackensie Alexander, had one and zero interceptions last year, respectively. Jackson also led the nation with 23 pass breakups.

His speed, instincts, and playmaking ability are all on display here in this play against Florida State in the Peach Bowl. It was one of two interceptions he had in one of the biggest wins in the history of the Houston Cougars.


Potential issues: He has issues with missed tackles; his technique needs a lot of work. Jackson sometimes has a tendency to drop his head when he goes to make a stop and that can not only cause missed tackles but also can lead to serious injuries.

Bottom line: Jackson overcame a tough upbringing in Houston. Usually the best solution is to get away from your old neighborhood but he stayed in Houston for both junior college and to play for the Cougars. By all accounts he has grown into a model citizen. It’s the type of story about overcoming adversity that McCloughan likes in his players.

If the Redskins do bypass the defensive line and look at cornerback Jackson could be a good fit. It appears to be a good year to get a first-round cornerback since the supply of quality corners is pretty good and there aren’t as many teams who are in need at the position as there usually are.

Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

  1. bangkokben - Apr 15, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    I like this pick but I’m a sucker for measurables – especially the speed.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 15, 2016 at 11:59 AM

      Of Apple, Alexander, and Jackson, I’d vote for Jackson.

      Some risk with all three, but that’s why they might still be on the board at 21.

    • kenlinkins - Apr 15, 2016 at 12:19 PM

      I agree, you can not teach speed and having it is always better than not having it when you play DB. I think he would work into a pretty good CB.

    • Trey Gregory - Apr 16, 2016 at 2:25 AM

      I like Jackson more and more as I get to know some of these guys better. There’s nothing wrong with liking measurables, they’re a part of the equation. But those instincts. That’s what I’m a sucker for. This guy could end up being a pretty good corner.

      I still want a first round DT, but a first round WR or CB is growing on me. We need either an elite passing game or pass defense to really compete in the NFC East of everyone is healthy.

  2. James McFullan - Apr 15, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    How will the signing of Greg Tyler affect the Redskins corner situation, Breeland and Culliver on the outside with Toler in the slot and Blackmon at free safety?

  3. James McFullan - Apr 15, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Mock Draft no trades
    21: Eli Apple CB Ohio St.
    53: Vernon Butler DT Louisiana Tech
    84: Jack Allen C Michigan St.
    120: Rashard Higgins WR Colorado St.
    158: Keith Marshall RB Georgia
    187: Trent Matthews S Colorado St.
    232: Jacoby Brissett QB NC St.
    242: Quinton Jefferson DT Maryland

    • COSkinsFan - Apr 15, 2016 at 4:33 PM

      Would be awesome if things fell that way

      • pyroman99 - Apr 15, 2016 at 6:50 PM

        I’d be very surprised if Butler is still on the board at #53. Austin Johnson or Chris Jones are more likely 2nd round DTs at that spot. And Allen is likely to still be around at #120. At #84, it’s worth looking at Kenyan Drake (RB), CJ Prosise (RB), Jalen Mills (FS), and Sean Davis (CB/S). But IMHO, the 3rd round is where ScotM starts making trades to get more picks, so all bets are off.

        • Trey Gregory - Apr 16, 2016 at 2:22 AM

          I would be pretty happy if we got Chris Jones in the second round. He’s probably going to take some time to develop. But you never know. The potential is there.

  4. COSkinsFan - Apr 15, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    I’ve wanted us to take Eli apple at #21 or a wr. If this guy is better than Apple and we get him or apple I’d be escatic. I think we can get a groomable big bodied wr that could hopefully start in a year in later rounds. If we don’t draft a starting cb who will open for us at cb? Breeland and maybe culliver if he is recovered or blackmon. I watch skins games more than once and it seems like whenever there was a long completion it was against Blackmon and he would be trailing by at least two yards. With the dline depth this year we could still pick a starter in round two.

  5. renhoekk2 - Apr 15, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    I’ve always been a proponent of drafting CB and WR in the first two rounds. It’s hard to find good starters after that at either position. There was a Grantland piece done on it a few years ago. Don’t recall the exact details but they took the number of starts over a player’s first 3 or 4 season seasons I think and also how many became All Pro or Pro Bowlers and maybe some other criteria, and which rounds they were all drafted. Their determination was that of all the positions CB and WR dropped off the most after the 2nd round for number of starts and post season accolades, compared to other positions drafted. It seemed to make a lot of sense if you read it. Not that you can’t find starters, just that the percentages go down drastically compared to all other positions if you are looking for quality starters.

    • hail74 - Apr 15, 2016 at 6:01 PM

      Coincidentally as I read this I’m watching a special on the 2004 draft. 8 receivers went in first round and 32 were drafted total. The best was Fitzgerald third overall but the rest were nothing special or all together forgettable. Welker went undrafted that year.

    • hotpicksblog - Apr 16, 2016 at 1:03 AM

      and when ya have Scott M doing the drafting….you find solid starters like Brashaud Breeland or Quinton Dunbar either in later rounds or free agency. Look for Scott M to focus more on finding a starting FREE safety in the first 3 rounds. Big need.

      • Trey Gregory - Apr 16, 2016 at 2:30 AM

        Safety is significantly less valuable than CB or WR. Safety is the second lest valuable position on the defense. That’s the reality of the NFL in 2016. That was Rich’s point about Jackson, a CB, being a valuable position and one of need.

        And it kind of seems like you said McCloughan drafted Breeland. I don’t know if that’s what you meant, but if you did, Breeland was drafted pre McCloughan. Scot has also whiffed in draft picks before btw. It’s not literally impossible for him to blow a pick.

        • James McFullan - Apr 16, 2016 at 10:56 AM

          Bruce was consulting with McCloughan during that draft and it was McCloughan who told them to go after Breeland.

        • Trey Gregory - Apr 16, 2016 at 11:50 AM

          I would love to see proof of that.

          But then I guess we can thank Scot for Trent Murphy too? Or does he only get credit for the good picks and Allen gets all the blame for the bad picks?

  6. msbinder - Apr 15, 2016 at 5:44 PM

    It looks the receiver has beaten him and QB under throws the WR. Not saying he is bad but a better thrown ball could have been a catch. Plus Houston I beleive is the best conference but I suppose that should be marked against him. The corners that I am high on are Fuller and Alexander. Fuller was considered the top Corner the year before. He sprained his knee in training camp and played the first part of season hurt. The he tore his meniscus I believe. I’m just saying the little bit he played last year he was not at his best. He was also the number ranked overall high school recruit. I think he will end up the best CB. Alexander from Clemson was also shut down.

    • jaysjack - Apr 15, 2016 at 6:49 PM

      I agree, Fuller is my pick. Although I am biased. I would love to see a hokie end up with us this year. A few great defensive line are going to be drafted in the later rounds also. Keeping my fingers crossed for at least one hokie!

    • pyroman99 - Apr 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM

      Another CB who looks interesting (on paper) for the 2nd round is Artie Burns. Haven’t heard anyone mention him…

    • kenboy99 - Apr 16, 2016 at 12:26 AM

      I don’t think the WR beat him, rather I think he slowed down to track the under thrown ball.

      • Trey Gregory - Apr 16, 2016 at 3:27 AM

        Yeah. That looked more like good awareness and ball tracking ability to me. Also notice that pickup. It fooled me at first, I thought he closed the gap on the receiver. But on second glance the receiver obviously stopped to go after the under thrown ball. But Jackson still turned on the burners to get in the right spot. And started closing with the receiver for a second before the receiver slowed down.

        It also appears Jackson was right with him until he turned his head around and saw the ball. It’s hard to say without seeing when the ball was released. It could have been a different play if the ball wasn’t under thrown. But he made a great play for the circumstances.

        Just look at the way he flipped his hips and made his break on the ball. He set that up perfect. It was a great play. Doesn’t mean every play will be like that. But it showcases his potential.

    • bangkokben - Apr 16, 2016 at 9:12 AM

      It’s possible he’s got inside leverage with safety help. Either way it looks as if he let’s the receiver get a couple of steps on him and he stops before closing the gap and getting the ball.

  7. crisnorona - Apr 17, 2016 at 11:46 PM

    I’m almost certain that Scot McCloughan’s pick will surprise everyone just like last year. Now, it may seem that the Redskins are in dying need of defensive linemen. However, the depth in the position it’s fairly deep in this Draft class. I obviously can’t read his mind and everyone will just follow all mock drafts at this point but if I would just guess, the Redskins will select an offensive lineman. The Center position is due for an upgrade and if the Redskins will be successful in this pass driven league, they win have to keep Kirk protected and give him time to throw the ball. That’s all just my prediction and what I am obviously hoping for. The best offensive line in the league hails in our hated Cowboys. I say, why not build something that solid for years and years to come? Archives

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