With the 18th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins have selected offensive tackle Austin Jackson out of the University of Southern California.
Why Miami Needed to Address OL
It’s no secret Miami had one of the worst offensive lines in recent years. From injuries plaguing the line, inconsistent veterans, rotating rookies and trading away promising linemen, the Dolphins needed to use one of their three first round draft picks to begin patching the holes.
Risky Pick in Austin Jackson?
Miami rolled the dice on 20-year-old Jackson. The 322-pound junior is a gifted left tackle. He has quite the athletic frame and is nimble on the feet. He’s a drive blocker that uses his initial lateral steps to gain ground quickly. Jackson can use techniques to create imbalances for oncoming rushers and has the ability to readjust himself against opponents. But, was he selected too early? Would he have been there at pick No. 26 or later?
Jackson will likely have a larger adjustment time table due to his young age, but the flashes he has already shown in college make him promising.
He’ll need to improve his upper body strength, likely lacking to his age, and his hand placement is a little off. In due time working out in the NFL, these are fixes that will eventually become natural.
Will Jackson Have an Entire Year Before He Needs to Protect Tagovailoa?
After drafting QB Tua Tagovailoa before Jackson, the Dolphins are in no doubt playing with risk with taking such a young guy. However, Jackson could use a year of learning before Tagovailoa even takes the field.