Prospect Watch: Kareem Jackson (CB, Alabama)
Now we haven't heard much about him in recent weeks as it is the case with most juniors declaring for the draft. But when we look at Jackson, I think he absolutely fits our need for a second cornerback and he should do very well in our scheme. Javier Arenas got most of the publicity for the Bama secondary but Jackson has been the better player all year long and he is a much better pro prospect too in my eyes.
Jackson has experience under a pro coach and in a 3-4, played a lot of man to man and bump and run in college and he is extremely physical. He is propably one of the most physical corners in the draft and very strong in run support. Now I wasn't impressed early in his career with his coverage skills but he has really developed over the course of his career. This year he truly shut down his opponents and blanketed receivers all over the field. At times he can get a little too aggressive and he might have problems early on avoiding penalties. He isn't much of a ballhawk but has shown the ability to read the QB well in zone coverage and break on the ball quickly.
Now there are a bunch of other things that you really have to love about him as a prospect. As already mentioned, he has shown constant development over his career which tells us he not only has tremendous upside but also that he is very coachable. He has been a starter for the Crimson Tide through his entire three year career and faced as good a competition as you can face in college football. Under Saban, Jackson has been part of a professional, winning atmosphere which should clearly help him going forward.
Now where is Jackson going in the draft? Late first might be a stretch but is definitely possible if he breaks out at the Combine. Does anybody think he could be there for us at the end of the second round?