What is the potential of Joe Jackson?

There a lot of good things going for Joe Jackson the Miami Defensive end that could end up with him being an early first round draft prospect. Here we’ll look at the Miami rising junior defensive end and look at all the reasons that if he reaches his full potential could be considered a top pass rushing prospect.

Why Joe Jackson has Potential for Days

Size

Standing 6’5 258lbs with long arms Jackson has the prototypical size teams look for in their edge defenders. He’s big and long enough to play defensive in in a 5 technique taking on offensive tackles but is still lean enough that he could play an outside linebacker in a 3-4 which would see him a bit more wide. When teams look at size for a protypical pass rusher based on size, then they will be very happy with Joe Jackson.

 

Athleticism

Pairing with his size Joe Jackson has the athletic ability to go with it. While I’m not going to say that Jackson is a fluid athlete, but he isn’t stiff by any stretch of the means and uses his burst to compensate for it. Jackson also uses that burst well when pass rushing combined with good snap timing to put offensive tackles on their heels from the start. Combine that with above average speed and the ankle flexibility he can turn the corner against tackles to get after the quarterback.

 

Coaching

Miami has been known for pumping out NFL Draft prospects and NFL Pro Bowlers on a regular basis, but what’s working for Joe Jackson is that he spent two years with former Hurricanes defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski (now at Alabama). Kuligowski may not be a household name, but he should be as he was the defensive line coach at Missouri that produced four first round draft picks since 2009 including the names of Aldon Smith, Ziggy Hood, Sheldon Richardson and Shane Ray. At Miami we saw Chad Thomas and RJ McIntosh get drafted this past year. Not saying every defensive lineman that plays for Kuligowski turns into a stud, but he’s shown to get a lot out his talent and they leave in high regard with the NFL.

 

Raw

Joe Jackson is still far from a finished product as he often relies too much on his athletic ability to win against offensive tackles. That is only going to get him so far and not even the elite of the elite athletes can be ultra successful in the NFL on athletic ability alone. For Jackson to be viewed as that first round prospect he’ll need to develop some pass rushing moves and use his hands better. He’s only going to be a true junior so he’s still young, but we need to see that growth this upcoming season. Jackson also has to improve against the run where he shows the ability to hold the point of attack and set the edge, but gets pushed around too much. Fix those two issues and the potential is there. But it’s all potential.

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