The cornerback crop in 2016 is considered to be deep and Jackson is rising up draft boards late in the evaluation process. William Jackson started two seasons for Head Coach Tom Herman at Houston's rapidly improving football program. After transferring from Trinity Valley Junior College, Jackson earned second team all-conference honors after his junior and senior seasons.
The Houston native has very good measurables for the cornerback position. Jackson has good length, checking in at 6'0" with a 31 3/4" reach at the NFL combine. Jackson pairs his size with elite speed, clocking an official 4.37 second 40-yard dash time.
As a junior, Jackson ranked among the nation's leaders in passes broken up with ten and added two interceptions. During his senior season, Jackson set a school record with 23 passes defended along with five interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.
In addition to his excellent ball skills, Jackson plays with good technique, ball awareness and superb makeup speed. Jackson has smooth footwork and understands how to use his length to his advantage, taking away sideline routes with leverage. Jackson is an aggressive player who is still disciplined with above average play recognition.
Areas to improve upon include getting off blocks in run support and improving play strength in press man coverage. Jackson also has some stiffness in his hips and merely average agility, making him a better fit at outside cornerback than covering in the slot.
Jackson is projected to be selected in the later portion of the first round or very early in the second round. Considering that the Ravens set a franchise nadir with six interceptions in 2015, the worst total in the entire NFL, Jackson is a prospect who is definitely worth trading up for. Improving their putrid interception total is paramount for a successful Ravens 2016 season.