Name: Austin Jackson
School: Southern California
40 Time: 5.07
Jackson has the raw athletic talent that can translate well to the pro level. With his size, he will be able to match up well with NFL defensive ends and outside linebackers. When watching the tape, it’s easy to see that he is an athletic tackle with quick feet and a strong punch. Hand placement was one thing I noticed time and again, as he always seemed to get a good punch on the rusher and control him. Jackson plays with a wide base and is able to easily mirror the rush.
On running plays, I noticed that he did a good job of getting to the second level of the defense and sealing off the linebacker, which usually happened on trap or counter plays. With his size, he was able to out-muscle the defender. Part of this can be concerning, as I felt that he often relied on his athleticism too much, rather than fundamentals. He is a good pull-man on sweep plays and hugs the play tight as he rounds the corner when lead blocking. One thing that struck me in particular in the running game was his leverage and speed when coming off the ball.
In the passing game, Jackson does a solid job of anchoring his block down with the inside foot. His kickslide may need a little work at the NFL level, as he was exposed several times in USC’s 2019 bowl game against Iowa. However, he has a good feel for the rushers twist stunt or inside rush.
Balance seems to be Jackson’s biggest issue in the passing game. I found him to be off-balance far too many times when evaluating the tape, which could be due to his lack of bend. He seemed to struggle the most against speed rushers, which could be concerning when matched up against quick outside linebackers in the 3-4 defense. Consistency will be key in Jackson’s game as he heads into the NFL.
The Packers are definitely in the market for a solid offensive tackle after the Bryan Bulaga departure. Jackson may not be the best fit for Matt LaFleur’s system, but he is definitely a player to keep an eye on.
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