Sunday, April 5, 2009

Player Profile: Tyson Jackson LSU DE

Pros: Jackson has the size and strength to play in a 4-3 or a 3-4, so unlike many of the ends in this college class, the former Bayou Bengal has no questions to answer in terms of his ability to play along the line of scrimmage. He does a great job of blowing up plays in the backfield, with his play against the run the strength of his game. Jackson is a disciplined football player, who sticks to his responsibilities and doesn’t lose containment. He shows the ability to handle double teams and still be a force at the line of scrimmage. Jackson is a very solid tackler and shows enough quickness for a man of his size to be able to chase runners and quarterbacks down from behind. He is tough, instinctive and has also proven to be very durable throughout his career in Baton Rouge. Jackson is a well-spoken young man, understands how to play within the team concept and comes with the reputation as a good leader.

Cons: Jackson lacks the high-end speed and quickness to be a dominating pass rusher. He had just 8.5 sacks over the past two seasons and simply won’t be a playmaker coming off the edge at the next level, which many teams look for when using a first round pick for a defensive end (particularly those who employ a 4-3 scheme). He struggles to break down in one-on-one situations and can be beat by quick backs. As purely a 4-3 end, Jackson has second or third round value.

Scouts Take: With more and more teams switching to the 3-4 defense, Jackson is the top prospect for those in need of a big force at defensive end. His value is playing on the interior, using his stoutness to stuff the run and hold down the fort. He should be able to start from day one and command double teams, which will free up linebackers to make plays the same way an offensive line sets up a star tailback. He won’t fill the stat sheet or show up on highlight reels, but he will do his job and allow others to shine. His value goes far beyond the numbers, especially for a 4-3 team, which should make him a mid-first round pick. Teams that play the 4-3 may look at the LSU product as someone who can shift inside on passing downs and play some defensive tackle.

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media