Former USC defender Drake Jackson could sneak into NFL Draft first round
NFL Draft prognosticators every year tend to have a pretty good feel about the very top of the draft. If the order in which guys are selected is a little off, guys viewed as top-10 selections are usually pretty distinguishable.
The back end of the first round can be a little tougher to predict. As such, we get surprises every year—teams reaching, teams trading up for a player they really like. One surprise this year, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, could be USC edge rusher Drake Jackson.
Each year, unexpected players sneak into round one. One possibility this year is USC pass rusher Drake Jackson, whose agent Drew Rosenhaus said that “multiple teams” predicted to him Wednesday that Jackson – who had 15 top 30 visits – “would be a surprise first-round pick.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 28, 2022
It’s worth pointing out here that Schefter is passing along positive info about a player directly from that player’s agent, and Schefter doesn’t have the greatest track record of being a beacon of journalistic integrity, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that teams might be enamored with Jackson.
Most of the high-profile mock drafts around have him as a Day 2 prospect (second or third round), with NFL.com’s Chad Reuter tabbing him as the 43rd overall pick. One team to keep an eye on: Green Bay. The Packers reportedly hosted Jackson on a top-30 visit. They hold pick No. 22 as well as pick No. 28 in the first round of the draft.
In three seasons along the Trojans’ defensive front, Jackson totaled 103 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, four pass breakups, two interceptions, and a forced fumble.
The first round of the NFL Draft begins Thursday night, with coverage starting at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN.