Ravens' Rookie: Asa Jackson

OWINGS MILLS, MD - MAY 13: Asa Jackson #25 of the Baltimore Ravens speaks to the media after a practice during the Baltimore Ravens minicamp on May 13, 2012 in Owings Mills, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Asa Jackson was the Baltimore Ravens selection of the 5th round. He is a cornerback out of Cal- Poly. He seems to be a great pick and a STEAL. He has punt return and kick return ability, a need of the Ravens, and a great CB. But the question here is... why did he fall to the fifth? It's because Cal-Poly is a small school, and scouts can't fully grasp someones talent if they aren't playing top competition. I am here to provide my analysis on him after the 'Jump'

First, Let's just take the small school label off of him. Players from small schools still succed. Our very own Lardarius Webb, Courtland Finnegan, Brent Grimes are a few successful small school corners. Players will succeed if they have the talent, no matter where they're from.

Let's take a gander at his stats

Interceptions Yards TD's Tackles Forced Fumbles
Freshman 2 46 0 42 1
Sophomore 2 47 1 48 1
Junior 2 62 0 55 3
Senior 2 152 2 ? ?

I looked long and hard for tackles and FF's his senior year but could not find it. But my take from these stats are good. Shows consistent nack for the ball with 2 INT every year. Upward trend in forced fumbles and same with tackles. Being a four year starter is also a nice addition. An un official stat I have heard is when in man coverage, he didn't allow a single touchdown. Sounds like Lardarius this year.

He also has some impressive return stats returning 415 yards over 30 punt returns, resulting in a 14 yard average. He never returned on all the way though.

Freshman Year summary:

"Notched 42 total tackles (35 solo), forced three fumbles, intercepted two passes (one in first career game as a Mustang at San Diego State, returning it 46 yards) and 10 pass breakups ... other interception was against Southern Utah ... three breakups against Wisconsin ... seven tackles against UC Davis and six versus South Dakota State ... named Great West Conference Freshman Player of the Year."

Sophomore Year Summary:

"A first-team All-Great West Conference defensive back after finishing fourth for the Mustangs with 48 total tackles (31 solo) ... 3.0 tackles for lost yardage, intercepted a pair of passes (South Dakota State and Montana) and broke up six other pass plays ... returned theft against South Dakota State 47 yards for a touchdown, tying the game at 14-14 just before halftime ... matched his career high with seven tackles in both the Dixie State and UC Davis contests ... returned 13 punts an average of 15.5 yards, a school record ... longest return was 59 yards against Dixie State and also had a 54-yarder against San Jose State ... missed 2010 Spring Game with a fractured wrist."

Junior Year Summary:

"Earned first-team All-Great West Conference honors for third straight and also was a third-team Sports Network All-American after recording 55 tackles (40 solo), one sack, two interceptions and nine pass breakups as a junior ... sack was against Southern Utah ... set new career high with eight tackles in season opener against Humboldt State ... also had seven tackles in three other contests ... returned an interception 47 yards against Fresno State and another 15 yards against Montana ... enters final college season with six career interceptions, two in each of his first three seasons with Mustangs ... career-high three pass breakups against Montana ... returned 17 punts an average of 12.6 yards, 14th-best in the nation and second in the Great West ... longest punt return was 37 yards against North Dakota ... career punt return average of 13.83 yards per game is a school record ... expected to handle punt returns again in 2011 and also could return kickoffs with Mark Rodgers"

And again, nothing on his Senior Year

Next, Asa received an invite to the NFL Combine and put up solid numbers

4.5 40-Yard Dash

34.5 Vertical

19 reps of bench press

After Watching this Youtube Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfiNU02HFWE I just feel in love with his skill set.

At draft time, Ravens selected him in the fifth round as you know. And probably aren't expecting much out of him, except for depth at this point. But what can he do this year? He sould potentially become a nickleback, or a dimeback. If Jimmy Smith beats out Cary Williams, Asa could have a shot at nickle, as Cary is not strong in the slot. And he will be in the mix to get in on dime set, if he can beat out DB/ special teamer Cory Graham. We should expect him so contribute some on special team, and be in the running for PR, how ever Jacoby Jones will most likely gain that role.

I see Asa Jackson potentially developing into a Brandon Carr type player. Both can be a little stiff at times. Both have good balls skills and are good tacklers.

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