Miami Hurricanes CB Michael Jackson projects to be prototypical NFL DB

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 28: Michael Jackson
CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 28: Michael Jackson /

Miami Hurricanes cornerback has the prototypical size at 6’1 200 pounds that NFL teams are looking for at defensive back. Jackson is projected to be able to play corner or safety in the NFL.

Michael Jackson provided the Miami Hurricanes with a steady presence at cornerback the last two seasons. Jackson finished his Miami career with 97 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four interceptions and 11 pass breakups. NFL Scouts are impressed with the versatility that Jackson will bring to the NFL.

Jackson is currently being projected to be selected on average as the 126.75 pick in the NFL draft. The Chicago Bears hold the 126th pick and the Baltimore Ravens are 127th.

That would place Jackson in the middle of the fourth round. Canes Warning examined four different seven-round NFL mock drafts to get an average of where several Miami Hurricanes will be picked.

The Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, CBS Sports, NFL.Com and our parent site FanSided were the four sites surveyed. Miller did the most extensive analysis ahead of the NFL Draft. He ranked the top 400 prospects entering the NFL in 2019. The draft has only 254 selections.

The expectation is for Jackson to be selected in the fourth or fifth round. He could go earlier. Chad Reuter of NFL.Com projects Jackson being taken by the Seattle Seahawks with the 94th overall pick in the third round in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams. Miller likes Jackson’s potential and his height and speed.

"23. Michael Jackson, MiamiSTRENGTHS—Physical at the line of scrimmage and can end route stems before they begin.—Well-built frame (6’1″, 210 lbs) with thickness to be forceful in run support.—Tackles without hesitation and could make a move to safety to get on the field sooner.—Impressive athlete who opened eyes at the NFL combine with a 4.45-second run in the 40-yard dash and 40.5-inch vertical jump.WEAKNESSES—Recovery speed is poor and helps receiver separation grow after route breaks.—Lethargic feet struggle to fire into and out of transition steps.—Tightly wound lower half with limited flexibility affecting footwork.—Lacks the explosion and burst in close quarters to contest quick throws.—Gets too lost and too jumpy in man coverage and might only be seen as a zone cornerback or potential safety.OVERALLJackson looks the part with his excellent size and 4.45 speed, but his lack of coverage instincts and awareness in-phase are poor enough that teams could decide he’s either no more than a depth cornerback or a potential target for a position change to safety. He’s worth a flier since height and speed can’t be coached.GRADE: 5.65 (ROUND 5 – BACKUP CALIBER)PRO COMPARISON: Tarvarius Moore"

Miller’s analysis of each of the 400 players includes a comparison to a current or former NFL player. Jackson’s comparison is to current San Francisco safety Tarvarius Moore. Moore is listed as a third-string cornerback by ESPN. Moore was selected by San Francisco in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft from Southern Mississippi.

Moore played in all 16 games as a rookie, starting two. He finished the season with 23 tackles, two pass breakups and a forced fumble. If Jackson is selected by Seattle, Miller might not be the only one comparing Jackson and Moore. The other prognosticators have Jackson going to Buffalo, Tennessee and Jacksonville.

"CBS– Buffalo-5 158NFL– 3-94- Seattle-PROJECTED TRADE WITH RAMS. Jackson’s size and speed on the outside should intrigue theSeahawks.Bleacher Report– Tennessee Titans: 5-145 Michael Jackson, CBFansided– 4-110. Jacksonville JaguarsAverage 126.5"

Jackson and former Miami safeties Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine will equal the three former Hurricane defensive backs that were selected in 2017. Having three defensive backs selected twice in three drafts speaks highly of the coaching of Manny Diaz, safeties coach Ephraim Banda and cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph.

Next. DE Joe Jackson projected to be first Miami player taken in NFL Draft. dark

The former Miami Hurricanes selected in 2017 were Rayshawn Jenkins in the fourth round by the San Diego Chargers, Corn Elder in the fifth to the Carolina Panthers and Adrian Colbert in the seventh to the San Francisco 49ers. The production at defensive back under Diaz as defensive coordinator is reminiscent of the Miami glory years.