2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Drake Jacksonby Mason Thompson April 16, 2021 0 comments
The 2021 offensive line class is a great one. Teams can find plenty of options on days two and three to plug and play into their starting lineups. Take a look around the league. Last year, the Patriots selected Michael Onwenu in the sixth round. Most of Green Bay’s offensive line was drafted on day three outside of Elgton Jenkins. A great example of a player in this class that will be drafted on day three who can be a starter right from the jump is Kentucky’s, Drake Jackson. He brings a lot of experience to the NFL, and while he doesn’t have any elite physical traits, Jackson has what coaches want out of a young player.
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Name: Drake Jackson
Position: Interior Offensive Line
Class: Redshirt Senior
Weight: 290 lbs
Pass Blocking (8/10)
Jackson has some limited experience in pass protection because Kentucky was more of a run-oriented team. He is a solid pass-blocker but struggles some against interior defenders that have more power. Jackson does a good job of keeping his head on a swivel but is susceptible to giving up some pressures here and there.
Run Blocking (8.75/10)
Jackson’s forte comes in run blocking. He isn’t a mauler by any means as he relies more on his technique than raw strength. Jackson can seal off a defender and work his way up to the second level quickly. He won’t throw defenders around. When he joins in on a double team, he and the other linemen make easy work of the defender.
Jackson has elite athleticism. He was often used as a pulling center on wide receiver screens to set up an alley for the receiver to run through. Jackson makes easy work of moving to the second level and has no issues running down the field to pave a lane for his teammates.
He struggles a bit with his balance. Jackson will overreach to try and make a block in the run game and end up on the ground. He has very good mobility, but he sometimes struggles to contain the second-level defender.
Jackson gets thrown back easily. He has a good sense of knowing when he is in trouble and finesses his way to get back on track. Jackson has some issues against stronger interior linemen, but it isn’t too noticeable.
Jackson struggles with putting his hand on the outside of the defender’s shoulders. He also gets his hands close to the facemask, where he could be called for some hands-to-the-face penalties.
Jackson played 44 consecutive games at center for Kentucky. While he only played center in college, he did take some reps playing guard during Senior Bowl week and impressed. He has said in some interviews that he would love to play either guard or center at the next level.
Football IQ (9.75/10)
Jackson started 44 consecutive games at center and 47 games overall. He is very seasoned and played against some of the top competition in the SEC. Jackson can play in any scheme but may be best suited to play in a Shanahan scheme. He does a good job of identifying blitzes and is well developed enough already.
Again, he isn’t a powerful blocker. He likes to seal players off more than throw them around. Jackson provides a stable blocker that is looking to open lanes more than throw people around.
Competitive Toughness (5/5)
Jackson played through a separated shoulder during the Senior Bowl game. He suffered the injury on the second snap of the game but continued to play through the injury.
Jackson suffered a separated shoulder at the Senior Bowl. He has some instances of a few minor injuries here and there but nothing too major that required him to miss some time.
Jackson is one of the best-kept secrets in the draft. He is an experienced center that could play some snaps at guard as well. He is uber-athletic, and getting him out in space and allowing him to pave lanes up to the second level of the defense is something teams should look forward to doing. Jackson is expected to go in the middle of the third day of the draft and could start at center for whatever team selects him.
Final Grade (78.75/100): Mid Third Round