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NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Houston CB William Jackson III

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Patriots could be looking to add CB depth to the roster in the draft.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots could go a number of ways with their top pick. The Patriots have a decent top 3 working for them, but after that it's S.O.L. after those three. Based on how I think the draft is going to play out, I believe a CB will have more value at 60 than a WR unless one of the top WR drop. An option for the Patriots at the CB position at 60 is Houston's William Jackson III. Jackson is a JUCO transfer that quickly became a star at CB for a very good Houston team.

Jackson offers the ability for the Patriots to be versatile in their coverages. He has the length to battle bigger receivers and can play off-man as well against faster receivers. Jackson could rise into the first round if he runs a sub-4.4, even though 40 yard dash times are irrelevant and the more important traits are how well he can change directions. His main weakness is a speed issue, he doesn't have good long speed on tape and can get beat by the Desean Jacksons of the world. However, that's the only thing that keeps him out of the first round.

Jackson is a physical and willing tackler, which also makes him a good match on Special Teams. Jackson can contribute there while he's biding his time for an opportunity to play. Jackson didn't play on one single side of the field, even when he was the clear-cut top CB on Houston, which bodes well for him not having to be restricted to one particular side. Of the CBs available, I believe Jackson gives the Patriots the most value.

While the path to being one of the starting three CBs isn't there for 2016, the selection of William Jackson III will be with 2017 in mind. Logan Ryan is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, which would leave a big hole in the secondary. Over the long haul, I see Jackson as an upgrade over Ryan. While the Patriots spent a 7th round pick on Darryl Roberts last year, there's no reason to believe he'll produce just because of his outrageous Pro Day numbers. If the Patriots have an opportunity to draft an impact CB, don't pass on it no matter how many good CBs you have on the roster.

The question is whether he'll remain on the board at 60, which is right around where I expect him to go.