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11 Days to the Draft: Alabama CB, Kareem Jackson

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With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

Alabama CB Kareem Jackson was a three year starter at one of the best football schools in the country. Regarded as the most NFL-ready cornerback not named Joe Haden or Kyle Wilson, Jackson could step in and immediately fight for the #2 slot on the Patriots. While he is an average tackler, he gets the job done without too many mishaps. He's a great cover corner, but is mediocre against the run. He broke up 13 passes his senior year, which means that he could become a mini-Darelle Revis- a cornerback who is so good at his job that he isn't asked to do anything else. Jackson has great potential for the future- is that future with the Patriots?

His measurements and some quotes after the jump.

WalterFootball.com Scouting

Height: 5-10. Weight: 196.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Combine 40 Time: 4.41.
Benchx225: 16.


Player Comparison: Marcus Trufant. Jackson isn't as consistent as Trufant, but he does have the skill set to be a very good corner.

Click the Link to see a much more in-depth player review!

CBSSports.com Scouting

03/19/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT CORNERBACKS: *Kareem Jackson, Alabama, 5-11, 196, 1-2: Jackson, who probably could have benefited from another year in college to improve his footwork, is a hard worker in the film room and shows signs of understanding the nuances of coverage. He is more impressive in bump-and-run coverage in the first few yards than he is downfield. Jackson is an instinctive, aggressive, coverage corner who started all but one of his 41 college games. His career statistics include 159 tackles, five interceptions (164 return yards) and two blocked kicks. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com/CBS Sports/USA TODAY

03/15/2010 - Kareem Jackson has convinced his college coach that leaving Alabama to enter the NFL draft after his junior season was a pretty good decision. The former Crimson Tide cornerback ran the fifth-fastest 40 time at his position at the NFL combine (4.48). Alabama coach Nick Saban says that performance probably helped make Jackson's call a good one. Jackson was rated a likely second-round pick by the NFL draft advisory committee, and Saban normally advises players to stay in school if they're not first-rounders. Jackson says his run for the scouts at the combine answered the biggest question about him for NFL scouts. He was a three-year starter for the Tide. - AP Sports

NFL.com Scouting

Jackson has an excellent combination of size and athleticism for the position. He is a very confident defender that will play tight to his opponent in both man and zone coverage schemes. Jackson shows great foot quickness burst and speed to stay with top receivers. He is an instinctive player that is quick to anticipate and jump routes as plays unfold. He is a competitive player but is inconsistent to as a run support defender. Jackson needs to rap up ball carriers better on the perimeter as well as corralling receivers in the open field. Kareem Jackson is an excellent football player that won’t last long on the first day of the 2010 draft if his shoulder checks out.

Strengths

Jackson possesses tremendous size for a corner and great athleticism. Has been a highly-productive player in a complex college scheme. Is a really instinctive performer against the run and pass. Has the aggressiveness and confidence we love to see in CBs and does a great job in man and zone coverage. Has the ball skills to make big plays.

Weaknesses

Durability (past shoulder surgeries) is the main area of concern with Jackson. He can be an inconsistent tackler both in run support when against receivers in the open field. Jackson takes too many chances at times and can be beaten for the big play.

Verdict: Jackson has the nose to get in on every play, but might miss on a few tackles. I said he isn't that strong against the run- that's more due to his poor/lazy tackling and not his instincts. If he learns how to tackle consistently, I think he could have a great job opposite of Leigh Bodden, if he's around at the right time. If Jackson drops to the second of our 2nd round picks, we have to start thinking about taking him. If he's around for the third of our 2nd round picks, the guys at the office should start calling in their pick. Great player with a great future.