William Jackson III, Houston Cornerback
Not since 1997 have the Steelers tabbed a cornerback in the first round of the draft. With a mangled secondary, drafting Houston’s William Jackson III makes sense at 25.
Jackson comes into this draft as one of the top playmakers in all of college football. He led the nation in pass breakups with 23 this past season while picking off 5 passes, returning 2 for touchdowns. In Houston’s upset victory over Florida State in the Peach Bowl, Jackson earned Defensive MVP after 2 picks, 2 pass breakups and a career high 10 tackles.
His coverage skills and instincts have coaches drooling. Jackson allowed only 40% of the passes thrown his way over the past 2 seasons. He ran a 4.37 in the 40 at last month’s combine, the third fastest time among cornerbacks. Not only does he have the speed to stay with the fastest receivers in the NFL, he has the size to compete with bigger receivers.
Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert were both at Jackson’s pro day last week, something they rarely do when scouting a prospect.
Next: Second Round