Measurables: 6-foot-5, 293 pounds.
2014 stats: 42 combined tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, 11 QB hits, 29 QB pressures.
We’ve talked a lot about Malik Jackson lately. If you missed Doc Bear’s excellent spotlight piece on Jackson and how his emergence exemplifies good scouting, check it out here. Jackson came to the Denver Broncos by way of the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Tennessee.
More Broncos Stories
He immediately factored in to the Broncos defensive line rotation. Initially, his biggest impact came rushing the passer, but 2014 showed us that Jackson has developed into a complete player. He earned a +24.2 cumulative grade via Pro Football Focus, which included his +12.8 grade in run defense and a +12.1 in pass rushing.
Jackson’s biggest issue has been keeping his nose clean on the field. Too often, he’s gotten his team into hot water for late hits and unsportsmanlike conduct. The hope is that such behavior will diminish as he matures as a man.
Jackson is in a contract year. And like his D-line counterpart Derek Wolfe, he’s finally playing in a scheme that best suits his skill-set. In Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense, Jackson will be plugged in as one of the 5-tech defensive ends and allowed to pin his ears back and penetrate.
But with the recent news that Wolfe has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season, the onus will fall even harder on Jackson’s shoulders to hold down the fort in the trenches. However, all the stars could be aligning for Jackson.
He’s made it clear that getting paid is very much on his mind, but at the same time, he understands that the only thing he can control in that department is his play on the field. Jackson is confident that if he plays well on the grid-iron, the pay day will come.
Jackson is a strong, explosive athlete who showed last season that he’d turned the corner as a young player. This season, he’ll finally be relied on to start on the Broncos defense. In a contract year, finally getting the lion’s share of the snaps, playing in a scheme he was born for, the sky’s the limit for Malik Jackson.
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Mile High Huddle Insider! Check it out HERE.