Finding Broncos: Scouting Kentucky C Drake Jackson

Finding Broncos scouts the 2021 NFL draft class to find the best Mile High fits. What's the scoop on Drake Jackson and how would he fit in Denver?
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Welcome to Finding Broncos, our annual prospect-by-prospect series deep-diving on the coming NFL draft class. The scouting continues with Kentucky offensive center Drake Jackson, whom the Denver Broncos could consider as a backup player.


  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 290 pounds


  • Motor never stops running and he will never give up on a play.
  • Decent lateral mobility to do pulling work but does best when he can drive upfield.
  • Hands are his best attribute, he keeps them working and has a good quality punch.
  • Good football IQ and can be trusted to pick up the playbook and make blocking calls at the line of scrimmage.
  • Good at seeing delayed blitzers and getting into a position, without losing his engagement, to slow down the blitzer.
  • Talent to hand-off blocks to pick up stunts.
  • Has plenty of experience.

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  • Almost no versatility as he is a center only and inside zone scheme only.
  • Length isn’t ideal, though that is easiest to cover up at center.
  • Lacks the great power to drive and often just wins with solid technique and positioning.
  • Can get manhandled by bigger two-gapping nose tackles.
  • Anchor will need to improve to handle bull rushers at the NFL level.
  • Overall pass protection is hard to get a read on because of the offense at Kentucky.


Lacking any form of versatility is going to really hurt Jackson's value, but he has the smarts and solid technique to still be valued by those teams. His lack of raw power is also going to drive away teams.

It wouldn’t be shocking to see Jackson really fall into the draft because a good number of teams won’t have him on their board because of his lack of versatility. If he doesn’t work in the NFL, he has the smarts to be a great coach on the offensive line.

Fit with Broncos

The good news is that he fits the scheme the Broncos run and has the traits that they need. The issue is, they already have a center in Lloyd Cushenberry.

If Jackson fell to late Day 3, he would make sense as a backup option to upgrade what they have there, but his lack of positional versatility will still go against him there.

Jackson can upgrade the Broncos depth at center, but that is all he can upgrade at the moment, so it really does come down to where he falls as to if Denver could have serious interest in him or not.

Grade: Round 4

Where He Goes: Round 5

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