#55 Panthers: CB Donte Jackson
NFL Draft Scout
Special speed. Instant accelerator to control spacing with receivers. Stays on the balls of his feet and rarely off balance. Collects his lower body with ease to drive on routes. Velvet feet in his pedal to mirror any type of receiver. Elastic body control to make fluid adjustments on the football. Always ball searching. Innate judgement to adjust and crowd the catch point. Collected 24 passes defended in 24 starts in college. Deadly speed as a blitzer. Tough tackler, striking low with burst to take ballcarriers off their feet. Emotional competitor and never gets bored, working to win the psychological battel with wideouts. Versatile starting experience and was trusted all over the secondary at LSU, logging starts at left and right cornerback, nickelback and free safety – also saw snaps at receiver. Experience as a return man, averaging 21.9 yards on kickoff returns (15/328/0) and 20.5 yards on punt returns (8/164/0). Ran track at LSU, including a personal-best 10.22 in the 100-meter dash at the SEC Relays. – Dane Brugler 2/20/2018
Thin-boned frame with minimal body mass. Lack of height and arm length creates challenges against bigger wideouts. Below average play strength and out-muscled at the top of routes. Undeveloped route anticipation with too much guesswork with his movements. Opens his hips too easily and gets turned around by basic stems. Caught leaning from basic head/body fakes and grabs to recover. Not enough of a playmaker when the ball is in the air. Not an eager run defender with inconsistent results. Overaggressive pursuit angles, allowing the ballcarrier to make a move in the open-field. Questionable discipline with loose cannon tendencies – flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after his middle finger gesture to the opposing crowd at Tennessee (Nov. 2017). Lack of body armor leads to injury concerns in the NFL. – Dane Brugler 2/20/2018
Ronald Darby, Philadelphia Eagles – While Darby was a tad bigger, he has above average speed and lower body movement skills like Jackson and both are more athletic freelancers than instinctive cover defenders.
IN OUR VIEW
Play speed is critical for the position and Jackson checks this box with a bold, red sharpie. He is dripping with natural athleticism to click-and-close in a blink, displaying the lower body muscles to spring in any direction. While undersized with undisciplined play style, Jackson has sudden-twitch athleticism to help mask flaws.