2018 Cardinals Draft Profile
Weight: 193 lbs.
Projected: 2nd – 4th round
J.C. Jackson is a talented cornerback out of Maryland. He was initially a Florida Gator but was kicked off the team following charges of armed robbery. Jackson was eventually acquitted of the charges. The corner played two season in Maryland, deciding to declare for the draft after his junior season. During his two years he totaled 80 tackles, 12 pass breakups and four interceptions, three of which came this past season. He was an honorable mention by coaches in the Big-10 in 2017.
Jackson is a player who could be molded by Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks. Wilks is widely known as a talented secondary coach and is credited for shaping Josh Norman into an All-Pro cornerback after being a fifth round draft pick in 2012. Jackson is roughly the same build as Norman was coming out of college. If Jackson can learn under the tutelage of Wilks and cornerback Patrick Peterson then there is no telling how special he can become.
The Cardinals have needed to find a long term solution at the second cornerback spot. Last season they tried Tramon Williams with success, but the veteran chose to sign with the Packers in free agency. Arizona could try to fill the spot with another veteran such as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or Robert McClain, but going young could be the better option. Jackson could turn out to be that answer without costing Arizona much more than a mid-round pick.
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Jackson stands out as a cover-2 or cover-3 cornerback. Has a great inside punch on press coverage. Plays physical against receivers, often at the top of routes to throw off timing. Shows solid lateral movement. Great at planting and driving forward to break on football. Has ability to recover when beaten underneath. Tight play on receivers result in pass breakups and interceptions. Has above average ball skills for a cornerback. Above average tackler for a cornerback. Not afraid to step up in run support. Hits ball carrier low and with good force.
Struggles with maintaining speed on deep routes. Often panics as a result and makes contact with receiver too early. Will sometimes reach for receivers on breaks. Struggled with holding and pass interference penalties. Does not recover well when missing his initial jam. Has issues with being beat underneath due to large cushions. Will need to become more aggressive as he looks timid attacking the ball in man coverage. Needs to play the passing lanes better to create more pass breakups and interceptions.