In the lead up to the NFL draft, I took a look at all the Trojan prospects and chose what I thought would be the best landing spots for all of them.
When it came time to choose a perfect fit for USC Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, I let my heart interfere a little bit with my head and chose the Tennessee Titans as the best fit.
Now I was clear that I was being biased, and the argument for Jackson was there but, I feel that since you’re in the circle of trust, I can be honest and say, I really wanted one of my favorite USC players to be on my favorite NFL team.
So, when Commissioner Goodell announced that Jackson would be a member of the Titans I was beyond excited. The question now is how will Jackson fit into the Titans scheme going forward?
Quite nicely, I expect that Jackson will be the starting kick returner week one in Oakland. He is an automatic upgrade over long time KR/PR Marc Mariani and over the recent addition Eric Weems.
Jackson will eventually take over punt return duties as well, but I think due to his slight frame at 5’10, 186lbs until the Titans get him into the weight room and bulk him up a bit, they’ll have Weems handle punt returns early in the season. However, as he gets more comfortable with the game expect Jackson to take over that role as well.
Now on the defensive side, Jackson fills a massive need for the Titans, he provides an athletic corner who can lock up man to man and still make plays on the ball.
Last season the Titans played a lot of zone, which is not something defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau likes to do. They were forced to play zone mainly because locking up man to man and blitzing, which is more LeBeau’s style, was a far greater gamble than it normally is. The Titans signed free agent Logan Ryan to help solidify their defensive backfield, and match up with Pro Bowl recievers Allen Robinsons and Deandre Hopkins which are in the division. However, for LeBeau to truly unleash Derrick Morgan, Brian Orakpo, and another former Trojan Jurrell Casey, he has to feel confident in being able to play man across the board, and that’s where I truly believe Jackson will make his greatest impact.
It wasn’t the Deandre Hopkins and Allen Robinsons that caused the Titans the most trouble, it was the faster Will Fuller and T.Y. Hiltons that shredded the Titans secondary, with Jackson the Titans now have a corner they can match up with those speed guys and let Logan Ryan, and whichever Corner I expect them to draft in the later rounds to handle the big possession guys on the outside.
Also, don’t be surprised if Head Coach Mike Mularkey and Offensive Coordinator Terry Robiskie find a few plays for Jackson on offense.
Should be an exciting season for the sole Trojan taken in the first round, here’s hoping he has an electric breakout season in Tennessee.