Josh Jackson   CB   Iowa

TALENT
ROUND
1

STRENGTHS
Josh is one of those long legged, long armed, ball hawking corners that has the potential to cover receivers like a blanket. He has good speed and quickness and his ability to leap like a kangaroo and snatch the ball out of the air will surprise a lot of quarterbacks who think they can throw the ball over the top of him when he is in zone coverage. Along with his excellent size Josh shows receiver like hands to catch the ball and this allows the team that selects him to use him on special teams as a returner. Josh has the football IQ to impact as a zone corner and also has the potential to become excellent cover corner in single coverage. He has quick hips and a smooth gate and good burst and the recovery speed that makes it very dangerous to throw any kind of pass to his side of the field. Josh has the potential to be a shut down corner that can blanket one side of the field for the team that selects him.

CONCERNS
Josh struggles right now against receivers who are physical with him. His footwork is poor on short routes because he is guessing instead of reading the receiver but in his defense, the longer the route the better coverage he has. When he plays in zone coverage’s he is excellent because of his ball hawking skills and solid tackling. He does struggle getting off blocks quickly, allowing himself to get tied up. He is quick to identify the run to his side but he will except a blocker rather than attack the blocker and this lack of aggressiveness will be magnified at the next level until corrected. Josh also is not physical enough to play the slot and seems to be surprised at smart receivers who use leverage against him to throw him off balance and defeat him at the line. All of these issues I believe, Josh will improve on and become one of the top corners from this draft class. His potential is unlimited with the natural playmaking skills most defensive backs wished they possessed.

BOTTOM LINE
Josh likes playing in zone coverage’s because he seems to understand what to do and is more relaxed and that’s when his athleticism comes through and his ball hawking skills shine. Because of those two reasons and the fact he is a solid tackler Josh could also shine as a free safety and this should make him very attractive to most teams in the NFL. Josh has the potential and the athleticism and the size to become an excellent cover corner and this potential to play any style of coverage at a high level makes Josh even more attractive for all 32 teams. Josh is not a finished product but he is a potential shut down, play making defensive back that just needs a little more time and coaching and repetitions to become a pro bowl defensive back. Those teams that play zone a lot, will rate Josh a little higher on their boards than the teams who use more man to man coverage’s but believe me every team will have Josh rated as an early pick in this draft because his potential to become the type of corner who can blanket one side of the field is outstanding. As soon as Josh stops trying to guess the route in single coverage and learns to read the receiver he will become the COMPLETE corner his talent suggests that he should become. Teams like the Panthers, Bills, Giants, Jets, Seahawks, 49ers and Broncos are just some of the teams I think will target Josh in this draft early.

Drew Boylhart   JAN.2018