Kareem Jackson

5’10 1/2, 196 pounds | Cornerback | Alabama

Agility/Hips: Doesn’t have the best agility and looks to be a little stiff in his hips. Change-of-direction ability is lacking. Can be beaten by smaller, shiftier receivers fairly easily. Lack of hip fluidity hurts him when he transitions out of his breaks.

Ball Skills: Hands are below average. But Jackson can do just about everything else asked in this area. He makes a lot of plays on the ball and is good at breaking up a catch. Finished his three-year career with 29 pass breakups and five interceptions.

Instincts/Recognition: Jackson could improve here a good deal. Too often he got burned on double moves to the outside. Because of his lack of great agility, he can be beat on comeback routes and needs to sharpen up his instincts to know when that route may be called. Quickly diagnoses run plays.

Man coverage: Played a lot of bump and run coverage for Alabama. Knows how to properly use his hands to jam at the line. When he can stick with a receiver, he’s aggressive and can re-direct routes. Needs to smooth out his backpedal. Jackson’s feet will get choppy, which causes him to lose receivers deep.

Pursuit: Lacks great speed, which is detrimental to his deep pursuit. Has good enough short-area burst to close when the ball carrier in nearby.

Has a solid size and build for the position. Arms are a little shorter than ideal. Fame is solidly built and he might not be able to add a lot of bulk.

Straight-line speed is solid but not spectacular. Has trouble sticking with shiftier receivers. Uses his physical skills to make up for a lack of speed.

Tackling/Run Support: More of a leg tackler, but does show he has the skills to wrap up and drag down. Plays stronger than he probably is.  Struggles to shed blockers to help support in run coverage. Tries to be too flashy instead of being sound.

Zone coverage: Although Jackson was used in man coverage a lot, he may be better as a zone cornerback. Jackson’s anticipation skills are very good and he reads the opposing quarterback really well. Locates the ball quickly once it’s in the air. Uses his physicality nicely in zone to move the receiver to make a play on the ball.

Final word:
Jackson benefited greatly from playing in Nick Saban’s NFL-style defense. He played a lot of man on his side, but has the skill to handle zone.

Jackson’s size isn’t all that great, but he is a physical cornerback. That helps him make up for a lack of agility and speed.