The Lions announced today that they have signed cornerback Michael Jackson from the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad.
Jackson was a fifth-round pick (No. 158 overall) of the Cowboys in this past April's draft -- taken 12 spots after the Lions selected fellow corner Amani Oruwariye.
While at Miami (FL), Jackson totaled 97 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four interceptions and 11 pass breakups.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound defensive back also impressed with his athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine.
More explosive than agile, Jackson had some eye-popping numbers for his size.
His combine results:
40-yard dash - 4.45 seconds
Vertical jump - 40.5 inches
Broad jump - 130 inches
3-cone drill - 7.12 seconds
20-yard shuttle - 4.12 seconds
It never hurts to add young athletes, as they can potentially develop while playing in a new scheme.
With Lions shutdown corner Darius Slay and Oruwariye both battling injuries and fellow corners Dee Virgin and Jamal Agnew predominantly limited to special teams, the Lions needed to add some depth at the position.
Could Jackson be more than just a corner, though?
Due to the trade of safety Quandre Diggs and with fellow safety Tracy Walker presently fighting through a knee ailment, the Lions' safety department, similar to the CB room, is very lean at the moment.
Remember, the Lions signed and then cut veteran defensive back Marcus Gilchrist within the span of a few days last week.
That leaves rookie safety Will Harris, veteran S Tavon Wilson and special teams contributor C.J. Moore as the only healthy options at the back end of the defense.
Looking at Jackson's size and his best attributes, they align well with what the Lions look for in a safety -- length, a forceful tackler and the ability to cover bigger players and to blitz.
Outside of hybrid linebacker/safety Miles Killebrew, Jackson is now the heaviest defensive back on the roster.
For a corner, it's Jackson's tight hips and change of direction that limit him in coverage. Those flaws can be masked a little more at safety.
Given the way in which Matt Patricia deploys his safeties, Jackson sure looks to have a skill set similar to that of Harris' and Walker's.
Maybe, just maybe, though, Jackson will have the same fate as Gilchrist.
It wouldn't be surprising for Detroit general manager Bob Quinn to continue to churn the bottom of the roster.
What may deter Quinn from cutting Jackson anytime soon, however, is the fact that the Lions are on the hook for at least three weeks' worth of Jackson's paychecks since they signed him off another team's practice squad.
Detroit can't demote Jackson to its practice squad for that three-week timeframe, either.
Patricia could also be looking to gain some intel on the Cowboys from Jackson.
The Lions play the Cowboys in Week 11, and would not have been able to poach Jackson off Dallas' practice squad the week before the game, per NFL rules.
So, now was the time to ink the rookie.
All in all, Jackson's talent was respectable enough coming out of college to get drafted in the fifth round.
He has yet to see his skills translate at the NFL level, but the Lions do utilize a unique scheme and Jackson looks like a fit for it.