One prospect who the Broncos are bringing in for a pre-draft visit/workout and may show interest in on day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft is former LSU cornerback Donte Jackson. He is a 5’10”, 178lb cornerback who is considered one of the better and fastest cornerbacks in the draft. Jackson is ranked as the 9th best cornerback in the 2018 NFL Draft according to NFLDraftScout.com and is considered the 71st overall prospect in the draft.
He played three seasons at LSU and had himself a solid career. During that three-year career, Jackson totaled 110 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 4 interceptions, 19 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 forced fumble. Last season for LSU Jackson totaled 45 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 sack, and 1 interception.
Donte Jackson, Junior, LSU
Height: 5’10” Weight: 178lbs 40 time: 4.32 seconds
Arm Length: 29 1/2” Hands: 8 3/4”
Bench Press: 7 reps Broad Jump: 124.0 inches
- Top notch athleticism
- Track speed
- Was one of the top NCAA sprinters in 2017
- Fluid athlete with that twitch you look for
- Elite speed to close the gap on receivers
- Great body control
- Sticky in coverage
- Willing tackler and able to go low on ball carriers
- Experience in the slot and on the outside
- A trash talker who tries to get inside the receiver’s head
- Has return experience
- Obvious height/weight concerns
- While athletic, not overly strong
- Lean frame
- Will get overpowered by bigger/stronger receivers
- Overaggressive and undisciplined at times
- Likely limited to slot duties only in the NFL
- While he’s a willing tackler, he is not a run defender
NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler’s thoughts on Donte Jackson from his annual draft guide.
SUMMARY: A two-year starter at LSU, Jackson has the athleticism that allowed him to play all over the secondary in college, splitting his time both outside and inside in man/zone coverages. Play speed is critical for the position and Jackson checks this box with a bold, red sharpie. He is dripping with natural athleticism to click-and close in a blink, displaying the lower body muscles to spring in any direction. Jackson trusts his eyes, but doesn’t trust play indicators and is more of a freelancer than instinctive cover man. Overall, Jackson is undersized with an undisciplined play style, but his sudden-twitch athleticism helps mask flaws, comparing favorably to Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby (50th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills).
Donte Jackson’s spider graph:
Does LSU cornerback Donte Jackson makes sense for the Broncos?
He wouldn’t be my first choice.
There are things to like about Jackson. Highly athletic, elite speed and quickness, and enticing ball skills, but I’ll pass. He is just too small and light for my liking.
He’s listed at 5’10” and under 180lbs and will struggle against any physical receivers out there. He will likely be a slot only guy in the NFL because of this and should fair well against smaller and quicker slot guys, but that skill-set alone is not worth a day two pick for me.
I think the Broncos will target another size/speed guy who can play press man for them. A lot like the Brendan Langley pick last year. The smaller, lighter, and speedy Jackson obviously does not fit that mold. Obviously, I could be wrong and they could be looking for the speed element in their secondary, so we shall see. They are kicking the tires on Jackson for a reason.
If I had to guess, Jackson will likely be a third-round pick and could be a candidate for the Broncos with one of their two current third round selections.