Patriots are making some roster moves to improve depth. This Friday, the Patriots signed CB Chevis Jackson to the roster. The Patriots have been hampered with poor cornerback depth as of late with CB Jonathan Wilhite sitting out the past couple weeks with a hip injury. The Patriots have played with all of their cornerbacks on the field (Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington and Darius Butler) when they play their sub defense and the Patriots can't afford any injuries to their defensive back position. The Patriots had been playing S Pat Chung in the sub defense, but he was exploited in each game. The Patriots need to play three cornerbacks in the 3-3-5 if they wish to have success.
Chevis Jackson is 6'0 and 190 lbs, which puts him right in the Patriots cornerback size range. Jackson was a 3rd round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 2008 and he started the season as the dimeback, but due to an injury was elevated to their nickelback for a couple games of the season and had some quality production with 7 passes defended and an interception. In 2009, he started as their nickelback, but was supplanted by a 2010 3rd round draftee and was released at the end of the season.
Jackson has two highlights that I found, and both the commentators say the same thing when he makes the interception- "And there's Chevis Jackson. He had his eyes in the back field and read the quarterback." He should do well as the dimeback for the Patriots as he has great size and has some reasonable ball skills.
It is unknown what player will be released or placed on the IR to add Jackson to the roster, but it wouldn't be surprising if it was Wilhite. I also wouldn't be surprised if it was DL Myron Pryor (back injury) because of how well DL Kyle Love has been playing.
Read a review of Jackson after the jump
Chevis Jackson 3rd season
Who: A third-round pick in 2008 by Atlanta, Jackson thrived in the nickel corner role as a rookie tallying one interception (returned 95 yards for a TD) and added another in the playoffs. In 2009, his production took a step back, but he still recorded a sack in Week 9 against Washington.
Why: Jackson’s shown the talent is there. He exceeded expectations as a rookie, but disappeared a little last season. In his career at LSU he earned All-SEC honors and entered the draft highly regarded as a shutdown-style corner. He’s gifted and athletic and there’s no reason to believe in his third season he’ll begin to put the pieces of his NFL career together.
How: He’ll need to show that last season was the exception to his rule and not his rookie season. He impressed during minicamp and OTAs and was given an opportunity to not only get reps at nickel, but also as an outside corner. Jackson has stated he plans to enter this season with a focus on returning to his college mentality, playing a little looser, and trusting his natural talent. If he can do that, he’ll be right in the middle of the competition.
Jackson should provide some workable insurance at cornerback and not much more. He's liable to give up the big play, but he thrives when he plays in the slot as the nickelback. Basically, he's a bigger Jonathan Wilhite.