The disrespect on anything Chicago Bears related continues as now Eddie Jackson was omitted from a CBS Sports’ list of the top ten safeties in the NFL.
The Chicago Bears keep getting disrespected by the national media this offseason. General manager Ryan Pace received mockery over his moves this offseason. Even when he brings in good players he gets criticized.
Despite already having a strong defense, he signed former All-Pro edge rusher Robert Quinn to team with all-world Khalil Mack. In terms of being an elite defense, the rich got richer. The critique is that at 30 years of age, Quinn is suddenly going to experience a drop in production because of age.
Pace drafted cornerback Jaylon Johnson with the 50th overall pick despite him having first-round talent. The critics say that he was there because of his injury and that will affect his play in the NFL.
That last one has a familiar ring. Where have we heard a Chicago Bears draft pick who had an injury would have trouble because of it? Oh, yeah right, it happened when the Bears drafted one Eddie Jackson in 2017. He too had first-round talent, but a gruesome leg injury late in the season scared other teams away. The Bears felt good about him, though, and drafted him in the fourth round.
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In three seasons with the Bears, Jackson has 184 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 26 passes defended, 10 interceptions, and 5 total touchdowns. Also, he has 2 sacks for good measure.
In 2018, Jackson made it to the Pro Bowl and was an All-Pro first team. Despite playing so well, he agreed to move over from free safety to strong safety so the Bears could sign Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. What was the result? While not as dominant as he was before, he made the Pro Bowl once again.
This is why when CBS Sports came out with their rankings of the top ten safeties and Jackson’s name was nowhere to be found it was a head-scratcher.
Top 10 Safeties in the NFL
(According to @VoiceOfTheStar)
1. Tyrann Mathieu
2. Minkah Fitzpatrick
3. Jamal Adams
4. Harrison Smith
5. Anthony Harris
6. Justin Simmons
7. Devin McCourty
8. Derwin James
9. Kevin Byard
10. Earl Thomas pic.twitter.com/4CNHhRyPUD
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 23, 2020
Let’s just take a look at the “best” safety on this list, Tyrann Mathieu. Over the past three seasons, he has 8 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and zero touchdowns. He also has 27 passes defended, 203 tackles, and 6 sacks.
Jackson isn’t on this list, but he compares favorably to Mathieu, however.
Jackson compared to Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed
However, not everyone agrees with omitting Jackson from a top safeties list. Two-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison really likes Jackson’s play. and compares him to Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed.
I think this young player is a terrific player. Good size, great instincts, everything that you want in an all-star caliber safety. I thought he played a little out of position last year… I think he’s a more of a natural, ballhawking free safety. They need to bring somebody in to play that (strong safety) position. Just let him roam with his athleticism…You look at the vision and the instincts, it’s like Ed Reed.
The Bears did just that, signing strong safety Tashaun Gipson. Jackson moves back to free safety to once again have a dominant season. Hopefully, we’ll see him atop any and all top safeties list in the future.