Josh Jackson is widely regarded as one of the top three cornerbacks in this draft. Whether he’s available when the Seattle Seahawks pick at 18 or whether John Schneider actually stays at 18 are anyone’s guess. It’s doubtful Schneider stays there, but for this we’re going to act like the stars align and Jackson is available and he goes to the Seahawks.
Josh Jackson Is a Great Fit for the Seattle Seahawks
Jackson is one of the top cornerback prospects in this year’s draft. He has the ability to make high impact, flashy plays. He is very good at playing the ball and has very good awareness and recognition, often making very good reads and adjusting to the play happening around him. He does a very good job watching the quarterback and adjusting to what he is showing. Watching his film, you also find that he does a very good job playing near the sideline, with a large number of his highlights coming from that area of the field.
He is the perfect size and shape of a Seahawks corner, at 6’ 1” and 196 pounds. Seattle typically only drafts corners with at least 32” arms, and Jackson is just a hair under that at 31 1/8”, but his playmaking ability should compensate for that. He does a very good job using his length to get hands and his body in the way of passes and breaking them up. He’s a very good jumper and excellent at high pointing the ball.
He sticks to his man well and does a good job shadowing them and positioning himself well in order to make a play. He does occasionally get beat when he tries to flip around and adjust to a stop or a change in direction in a route, but his awareness, speed, and length allow him to recover well and it’s not usually a problem.
As far as weaknesses go, he is a very poor tackler in the open field. It’s hard to know if he has the desire to do the “dirty work” of tackling and is more concerned with making the flashy play, or if he just lacks the fundamentals to make these kinds of tackles. But either way, Pete Carroll is the perfect coach to fix this problem. Pete hammers home fundamentals and the team dynamic doesn’t allow anyone to not do their part. So he would either adjust to make the plays he needs to be making, or learn the skills he would need to do so very quickly in Seattle. Especially with vets like Earl Thomas (assuming he’s not traded), Kam Chancellor (assuming he’s not cut or too injured to continue playing), and Shaquill Griffin who turned out to be a very solid addition to the team last season.
Another criticism is that when he plays press or near the line of scrimmage, receivers with quick feet movements tend to cause him to hesitate. This would be a huge problem in the NFL, but once again Seattle would be the perfect place to overcome this issue. Doug Baldwin is one of the best receivers in the league at the line of scrimmage, so he would be able to work on this in practice often.
Overall, Jackson is one of the best players at the position. And despite some rough edges, he would be a perfect much-needed addition to the Seahawks secondary. They need all the help they can get there now with Richard Sherman no longer there and DeShawn Shead signing with the Detroit Lions. Here’s to hoping he’s wearing Seahawks colors next season.