The Los Angeles Rams could use a playmaker at cornerback, and one way to find that playmaker is through the draft. Adoree Jackson could be the diamond in the rough that develops into a major contributor on an NFL roster. During his successful career at USC, the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award winner developed some impressive skill-sets that have allowed him to shoot up the draft charts over the years.
Jackson’s main role at USC was at cornerback, but he also returned punts kickoffs and even played as a slot receiver for the Trojans in his final season. In the Trojans’ 45-27 victory over Notre Dame at the end of the 2016 season, Jackson caught a swing pass for a touchdown, completely fooling the Irish defense during the play. The skill-set Jackson developed on offense propelled him to be much more explosive on defense.
Jackson’s explosive speed (4.39 40 yard dash) allows him to cover the entire field. He also improved his pattern recognition dramatically. The former Trojan has developed excellent ball-handling skills, and his excellent timing allows Jackson to be an aggressive player at his position. With eight touchdowns returned for touchdowns, Jackson has a nose for the football in critical situations.
Jackson’s lack of size is a concern for scouts. Standing at only 5’11” and weighing 185 pounds, Jackson will probably need to put on more muscle to compete with opposing wide receivers who are standing at well over six feet tall. His ultra-aggressive nature may get him an excessive amount of flags called against him. His lack of size may be exposed the most when opposing offenses place three receivers in the slot where he would tend to be the easy target in man-to-man coverage assignments.
Despite Jackson’s size limitations, he can be the young player the Rams need at the position. Experts are predicting that Jackson will fall into the second round of the draft where the Rams are slated to pick fifth in the second round (37th overall). The Rams do have a need at wide receiver and other positions, but if a player with the caliber of talent like Jackson has is available at the 37th pick, the team would be hard-pressed to not pick him.
Sources: NFL.com, Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, Joey Kaufman, OC Register, foxsports.com
Martin Cruz is a staff writer for Rams Talk. You can find him on Twitter with the username @MCruz1988