When does baggage outweigh athletic ability? That will be the question with the troubled Janzen Jackson. If you’re not familiar with his story, he started his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee and came there as a highly touted recruit. However, he was released from the university and joined McNeese State where his father was the head coach.
At 5-11 and 188 pounds, Jackson is one of those type of players with all of the talent in the world but has failed to take full advantage of it. There are some off the field issues that cloud Jackson’s past and there will definitely be questions about how committed he is moving forward.
On the field, Jackson is known for his fluid movement and tries to deliver a big blow whenever the opportunity presents itself. He doesn’t have elite top end speed, but he breaks to the ball quickly and uses that explosion to close gaps quickly.
Although he has the ability to be a great playmaker, he’s sometimes too aggressive. His attempts to go for the big play often don’t go as planned, especially when attempting to deliver the big blow. He doesn’t wrap up all that well and if the ball carrier isn’t taken down by the blow, they can often extend the play. This can be particularly risky for a safety if they are the last thing standing between the ball carrier and the end zone.
Check out this video of Jackson against Kentucky while he was still at Tennessee.
It’s really hard to nail down Jackson’s draft projection because of his off the field issues. I’ve seen projections from anywhere in the third round to going undrafted. His value is going to come down to how concerned teams are with his character.
The Eagles brought in Jackson for a workout so they must be intrigued by his ability. I would assume that bringing him in for a private workout was less for the workout and more to get a read on his mentality.
If the Eagles think he has his act together and he’s available on day three, he may be more and more intriguing as teams continue to pass him up. They need help at safety and the kid has talent. If it gets late enough in the draft, the Eagles may be able to take a risk on Jackson and see if he can focus himself in the big leagues.
(Photo Credits: PurpleJesus, x)