40 time: 4.65
OVERVIEW: His college career might not have been picturesque, but he went from top recruit to one of the best pass-rushers in the nation with few issues. Started 11 of 13 games in his first season and led the Trojans in sacks and tackles for losses. While he failed to replicate his freshman production in either his sophomore or junior year, he maintained his status as an intriguing and athletic quarterback hunter who should be selected early in the draft.
Strengths: Toughness and play strength allows him to hold his ground regardless of whether he's playing end or linebacker. Brings some juice when it comes to getting after the quarterback. Quality first step can let him rocket past slow-footed linemen. Surprisingly effective bender who can slip under tackles without being derailed. Creative tempo and timing will leave opponents guessing. Knows how to use his body control to make wins. Capable of dropping into coverage.
Weaknesses: Tendency to play too high leaves him exposed at times in the run game. Will need some time to tinker with his technique before he reaches his ceiling. Not a power rusher and will need to win by getting around blockers rather than going through them. Gives his back to blockers and loses his angles too easily as a run defender. Lacks anticipation and instincts at the moment and his game feel is a work in progress.
Pro Comp: Julian Okwara, Lions -- Leverage lapses, inconsistent run defense, and average power prevented Okwara from sneaking into the top 50 picks of his draft class, but athleticism and pass-rushing upside is a hot commodity in the NFL. Jackson is even further along in his development, and should hear his name called even earlier than the third round.