DE Joe Jackson projected to be first Miami Hurricanes player taken in NFL Draft

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The consensus among NFL Draft experts mock drafts is that defensive end Joe Jackson will be the first player from the Miami Hurricanes to be taken this weekend. Jackson is projected to be taken with the 90th pick on average.

The 90th pick is about halfway through the second round and it’s held by the Dallas Cowboys. That would be ironic for the Miami Hurricanes. Two different Mock Drafts project Miami defensive tackle Gerald Willis to be taken by Dallas. There is a lot of history and connections of former Miami Hurricanes in Dallas.

Joe Jackson left Miami with one year of eligibility remaining. Jackson led Miami with 8.5 sacks in 2018. That was three more than Miami’s other defensive end, Jonathan Garvin. Jackson finished third on Miami behind Willis and Garvin with 14.5 tackles for loss. Jackson was an immediate impact player with the Hurricanes.

The 6-5 258-pound defensive end is projected as an edge rusher in the NFL. Jackson will play either defensive end in a 4-3 or outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He should make an impact as a rookie as at least a situational pass rusher. Jackson finished his Miami career with 129 tackles, 35.5 TFLs and 22.5 sacks.

The Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller did an extensive summary of the top 400 players eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft. There are only 254 picks in the seven rounds of selections. Breaking down the players by position, Miller ranks Jackson as the 12th best edge rusher. Miller expects Jackson to eventually become a starter in the NFL.

"12. Joe Jackson, MiamiSTRENGTHS—Exceptional size and build for a player coming into the NFL. Shows good durability.—Good strength in his base and upper body. Can set the edge and bull-rush through top tackle talent.—Plays with good leverage for a player his height.—Adds pressure to the pocket even when he is not getting to the quarterback.—Had a major impact in his final season at Miami, and scouts raved about his upside and work ethic.WEAKNESSES—Slow first step. Has to commit to a power-rush move.—Lacks the necessary bend to be an elite edge-rusher.—The majority of his play comes from a three-point stance. Maybe limited to teams that run a 4-3 defense.—Needs to learn to counter his initial pass-rush move by using his hands and having a plan in place.OVERALLJoe Jackson has great size (6’4″, 275 lbs) and, more importantly, strength for his position. His transition to the NFL will be much more effective in a 4-3 defense with the option to kick inside on passing downs. We view him as a 4-3 end because he hasn’t shown the kind of athletic ability to be a stand-up edge-rusher.GRADE: 6.35 (ROUND 3 — FUTURE STARTER)PRO COMPARISON: Calvin Pace"

Miller finishes off each players analysis with a comparison to a current or former NFL player. Jackson’s comp was to former Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets player Calvin Pace. Pace finished his 13 year NFL career with 608 tackles, 60 sacks and 11 fumble recoveries.

The other three mock drafts Canes Warning surveyed were CBS Sports, NFL.Com and our parent site FanSided. CBS Sports projects Jackson the highest. They have him being selected with the 62nd overall pick in the second round by the Detroit Lions. NFL.Com and the Bleacher Report project Jackson to be selected in the third round.

NFL.Com predicts that Jackson will be selected with the 77th overall pick by the Carolina Panthers. Miller and Bleacher Report have Jackson going 19 picks later but still in the third round to the Washington Redskins.

Fansided’s Joe Romano has the lowest projection for Jackson at 125th overall in the fourth round to the Seattle Seahawks. Jackson would be a good fit for the Seahawks rebuilding defense. Jackson could take the place of Frank Clark who Seattle just traded to Kansas City. Clark had 135 tackles and 35 sacks in four years in Seattle.

"CBS– Det 2 62NFL.Com 3-77- Carolina-Carolina finds an underrated pass rusher in Jackson, who does not rank as an elite prospect in any one category but brings consistent pressure off the edgeBleacher Report– 3-96. Washington RedskinsFansided 4-125. Seattle Seahawks"

Three Miami Hurricanes defensive linemen were selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. Chad Thomas was the first Miami Hurricanes player off the board last year. Major Nine was the 67th overall pick in the third round by the Cleveland Browns. Defensive tackles R.J. McIntosh and Kendrick Norton went in the fifth and seventh rounds.

Next. Miami DT Gerald Willis stock falling among national NFL Draft experts. dark

McIntosh was selected by the New York Giants and Norton went to the Carolina Panthers. Norton was signed by the Dolphins in December. McIntosh appeared in only six games as a rookie, Norton is still hoping to make his first appearance in the NFL. Like Jackson, both left college after their Junior seasons.