Draft Spotlight: LB D'Qwell Jackson
D'Qwell Jackson, LB Maryland: 6'-1, 230-pounds, 4.7 forty-time
NFL Comparison: Al Wilson, Denver Broncos
Played middle linebacker for the Terrapins, but is projecting to an outside position because of his size, speed and instincts. Hits like a ton of bricks, has excellent leadership qualities and runs well. Confidence is not a problem for Jackson. He improved every season in college and finished his career as a second-team All-American in 2005.
Against the run
Probably Jackson's biggest strength. He is very physical at the point of attack, but he has trouble at times shedding blockers. With increased lower body strength that shouldn't be a problem. Takes good angles and diagnoses plays well, but at times can play too upright when filling gaps. Doesn't take false steps or get lost in traffic. Flows to the ball well.
Against the pass
Goes through his progressions very quickly, able to read keys and diagnose routes by backs and tight ends. Does not have a smooth hip-turn, so man-to-man coverage is not going to be a strength. Gets into his drops quickly and punishes receivers when they come into his area. As a blitzer he has good closing speed, but doesn't show great pass-rush instincts.
Currently earning second-round grades and had a solid performance at the Combine. Jackson will get some looks from teams that run the "Tampa 2" defense where players' athleticism is emphasized over their size.
Scott Eklund writes and reports for Seahawks.NET and Dawgman.com.
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