Drake Jackson and his epic three sack day versus the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, September 10 sparked a strong question from two-time All-Pro Micah Parsons: Why is the San Francisco 49ers edge rusher not being talked about enough?
The Dallas Cowboys star brought up the second-year 49ers defender’s breakout day on his “The Edge” podcast that premiered on Monday, September 11. He believes Jackson deserves more respect.
“A guy that no one is talking about is Drake Jackson,” Parsons pointed out on his show. “He had three sacks. Why is no one talking about Drake Jackson? When we talk about pass-rushers, it’s always good to talk about me and all the other prolific guys.”
Parsons Squashes Belief Jackson Benefits From 49ers System
Before getting into the belief from others that Jackson benefits from being surrounded by talent, Parsons made parallels with one Pro Bowler who played opposite of an elite pass rusher that “no one talks about” either per Parsons: Alex Highsmith of the Steelers.
“Alex Highsmith had 15 sacks? And no one talked about him,” Parsons said. “He held it down while T.J. Watt was out for an injury. And he dominated, got extended and no one talks about him. I thought he had a great year and was a dominant pass rusher last year.”
Parsons, whose Cowboys stomped on the New York Giants 40-0 on Sunday Night Football to open the year, traced back to Jackson and why the belief that he has the benefit of talent and a system needs to be squashed.
“Don’t let these guys get thrown under that sunlight because he’s surrounded by guys like Nick Bosa and Fred Warner and guys like that because they’re loaded with such a great team,” Parsons continued. “I think he’s a person I’m going to have to look out for.”
How Did Jackson Play Into a 3-Sack Day?
It was supposed to be the much anticipated, plus long awaited, return of NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa — who finally got his deal extended to return to the Niners.
Judging from the way the Steelers set up their blocking schemes, it’s obvious they entered this game preparing for a guy who hadn’t been with his team in minicamp and training camp…but didn’t do much to counter the opposite edge rusher of Bosa.
On his first sack, Jackson (playing the weakside edge rusher over the left tackle) was supposed to be chipped by running back Najee Harris. The Pro Bowl RB, however, is only seen extending his arm and not his pads to Jackson. Arik Armstead gets enough penetration to force Kenny Pickett to scramble to his left. Jackson, however, stays in relentless pursuit and wraps up the Steelers QB that forced the punt.
On sack No. 2, Jackson uses a full-on bull rush to gain his penetration past the line of scrimmage. His closing speed eventually catches up to a scramble attempt by Pickett — resulting in the loss of yards. The third and final sack saw the creative chaos from the Niners defense: Jackson looping around the interior rusher Armstead and zipping through the newfound open “B” gap to snatch Pickett.
Complete highlights of Jackson’s sacks can be seen below.