A lot of people thought Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson would go to the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the NFL Draft. He was still there when they picked at No. 45 in the second round.
The Packers took corners in the first two rounds, solidifying their weakest position.
Jackson led the nation with eight interceptions in 2017.
He also fits the mold. Jackson is 6’1″ and 196. He isn’t quite as fast or athletic as the guy the Packers took in the first round, Jaire Alexander, but it’s hard to argue with the results of his 2017 season.
He also defended 26 passes in 2017. That doesn’t happen by accident.
Although Jackson’s speed isn’t overwhelming (4.56 40), his playmaking ability is. Long arms (31+ inches), great ball skills, excellent anticipation and thought of as a great press-man corner, which is what the Packers will play under Mike Pettine.
The Packers’ selection of cornerbacks in the first two rounds is similar to when they took Damarious Randall — a safety who was converted to corner — and Quinten Rollins in the first two rounds in 2015. That didn’t work out so well. Let’s hope Jaire Alexander and Jackson work out better.
In the matter of two days, the Packers and general manager Brian Gutekunst may have turned the Packers’ weakest position into a strength.
We now have to wonder where this leaves the guys the Packers signed in free agency — Tramon Williams and Davon House. The Packers could end up going into the season with Kevin King, Alexander and Jackson as their starters at corner. Those would be three guys drafted in the last two years.
However, if I’m betting, I’m going with Williams as one of the three starters. King and Tramon outside and Alexander in the slot. And then probably so long to Quinten Rollins and possibly, although I wouldn’t bet on it, House.