On Sunday, the New England Patriots announced a trade for a man with arguably the most recognizable name in the world. The team added 6’1″ 210-pound cornerback, Michael Jackson in a deal with the Detroit Lions for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Jackson’s NFL Career
The 23-year-old was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Miami by the Dallas Cowboys. He didn’t stick there and landed in Detroit with former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. Jackson only appeared in one game for the Lions and didn’t record any statistics.
Because of his youth and solid measurables, it’s clear teams are still valuing Jackson a little, and are willing to give him a look, hence the trade. Here’s a look at what he did as a member of the Hurricanes in college.
I love his length and strength. He has the frame to play the run well and shows off some strong ball skills. It could be that he just needs the opportunity to prove what he can do to show his effectiveness.
Jackson’s Thrilling Physical Attributes
Sharing a name with the King of Pop is undoubtedly something Jackson has been asked about all of his life, but the Patriots aren’t as interested in Jackson’s ability to moonwalk as they are his ideal size and borderline elite athleticism. Jackson posted a 40.5″ vertical leap and 10’10” broad jump at the NFL Combine. He also posted a 4.46 40-yard dash, which isn’t exactly elite, but for his size, and in the Patriots’ scheme, could be fine.
The most impressive aspect of Jackson’s physical abilities is his size and strength. He can body up against the game’s larger receivers and he has the potential to be a viable defender in the red zone.
Will Jackson See the Field?
The Patriots’ deepest unit is its secondary. It’s also its most talented group. However, that claim could change with one injury and a COVID-19 positive test. The acquisition of Jackson screams depth and security, but you’d have to believe that if the Patriots were willing to part with a draft pick, even one that is a conditional selection in the seventh round, they must be under the belief Jackson sticks on their team and contributes.
I’d expect him to play special teams early, perhaps he can do a bit of what Brandon Bolden has done for the team over the past few years. Bolden is among the eight Patriots who chose to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season. With that dynamic, it’s no surprise to see the Patriots and other teams across the league making a few moves in the early days of this truncated training camp. Be on the lookout for more transactions in the coming days.
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