Today, we keep the focus on the secondary by taking a look at Michigan corner Marlin Jackson.
Jackson finished his senior year at Michigan by recording 47 total tackles, including six for loss, and one interception.
The Sharon, PA native entered his senior year as an All-Big Ten, All-America and Jim Thorpe Award candidate. He was also named a team captain this past season for the Rose Bowl bound Wolverines.
"Jackson is a versatile defensive back with outstanding physical skills," notes NFL Draft Expert Tony Pauline.
"He's got fluid hips, loses nothing transitioning to run with opponents and not afraid to mix it up. He also easily stays with receivers laterally and does a solid job reading or diagnosing the action."
|Jackson finished his senior year at Michigan by recording 47 total tackles, including six for loss, and one interception.|
"He's tremendously gifted, and he's been productive as both a safety and cornerback at Michigan," adds Pauline. "He possesses the size and skill to be a press cover corner and a first round selection if he keeps his focus his on the task at hand."
As it stands now, most services have Jackson as a mid-first round pick, which would naturally put him in position to be drafted with the Cowboys first overall pick. Should he fall to the lower end of the first round, Dallas could have another opportunity to draft him with the 20th overall selection.
Also, there are several off the field incidents on his record that could detract from his overall value in the eyes of some teams.
He may also need to brush up on his form tackling.
"Jackson is a guy that does more hitting or knocking down rather then wrapping up and tackling the ball carrier," says Pauline. "He can sometimes over pursue the action, taking himself out of the play."
Despite this, Jackson still ranks as one of the top defensive backs in the draft. And when you look at his vital statistics: 6-feet-1 inch tall, 200 pounds, with 4.45-4.5 speed, you can begin to understand why his stock is so high.
Whether or not he ranks that high on the Cowboys draft board remains to be seen. Clearly, Dallas needs more playmakers on defense, but there may be greater needs on the defensive line that need to be addressed first before a player like Marlin Jackson is drafted.