As the 2014 season draws near, we will provide a scouting report on every individual scholarship player on the Florida State roster. Today, we continue with starting LG Tre’ Jackson.
Tre’ Jackson: To Date
Jackson was a late addition to the heralded FSU offensive line class of 2011 after flipping from a commitment to Georgia Tech. Jackson fell through the cracks early in the recruiting process due to missing his junior season with a torn ACL, but his senior film was terrific and wound up netting him several late offers and a quick rise up the recruiting rankings, finishing the process as a three-star guard prospect.
Jackson started the final game of his freshman year against Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl and has been a fixture on the Seminole offensive line since. Despite getting dinged up and missing some time early in the year, Jackson was the Seminoles’ most consistently dominant offensive lineman in 2013 and is slated as a potential high draft choice in next year’s draft.
Jackson is a monstrous mountain of a man (6’4, 340), possessing physical dimensions out of a comic book. It’s hard to appreciate how thick and imposing he is without seeing him up close and in person; it just doesn’t come across on television. He has prototypically thick hips and thighs and does a terrific job keeping his knees bent and in an athletic position at all times, whether pass blocking or run blocking.
He does an outstanding job sinking his hips and anchoring in pass sets, and he shows rare bend and roll as a run blocker, possessing the ability to put opposing defensive tackles on roller skates.
Jackson has outstanding feet not just for such a huge man but for an offensive guard in general. He is quick off the ball and his second step—critical in a zone scheme—is extremely quick and powerful. He consistently gets his head and hands in proper position in the running game, and his feet rarely stop running. He does not tend to overextend and is rarely off balance.
Jackson is a yes-sir, no-sir player and has been one of the hardest workers on the team since he arrived. He has an outstanding motor and shows a nasty streak when finishing blocks.
Room for Improvement
Jackson could stand to improve against the interior speed rush. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald managed to win his share of plays against Jackson using his (admittedly elite) quickness, and Jackson also had more trouble than usual with Florida’s quick, explosive interior at the end of the year.
To that end, Jackson might be a little better at closer to 330 than 340, keeping him just a little lighter on his feet when moving laterally in pass protection.
Floor/Ceiling & NFL Potential
Jackson’s floor is where most players hope to get their ceiling. Absent injury, he’s a sure draft choice and close to a guaranteed starter in the NFL. Provided a little progress over 2013, Jackson could go as high as the top 10 in the 2015 NFL Draft and projects as a cornerstone player on an NFL offensive line for the next decade.
Chance Warmack. He’s a bit thicker through the lower half than Warmack and a bit lighter on his feet, but he’s the same kind of dominant interior blocker as the Alabama standout. In some ways, he’s a bit of a combination of Jonathan Cooper (UNC) and Warmack from the 2012 draft.
Outlook for 2014
Provided he stays healthy, Jackson should be a consensus All-American and early first round draft choice.
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