2023 NFL Draft Profile: Colorado State LB Dequan Jackson
The heart of the Rams defense, Jackson looks to do the same at the NFL level.
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A reliable anchor.
Colorado State football has had a few offensive players selected in the NFL Draft over the past five years, but linebacker Dequan Jackson hopes to become the first Rams defender to be picked since 2016.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Jackson saw sparse playing time as a freshman in 2018 but ultimately spent four seasons as a starter, serving as a team captain for three years. He earned all-Mountain West honorable mention recognition in 2020 and 2021, finishing his five-year stint in Fort Collins with 322 career tackles and 27 tackles for loss.
Now, a new challenge awaits, but will Jackson be able to earn a phone call in this year’s draft?
Measurables (taken from Dane Brugler)
Height – 6′ and 1 1/2″
Weight – 214 pounds
40-yard time – 4.65 seconds
10-yard split time – 1.53 seconds
Arm length – 32″
Hand size – 9 3/4″
Wingspan – 78 3/4″
Vertical jump – 33 1/2″
Broad jump – 9′ and 11″ (or 119″)
Shuttle time – 4.34 seconds
3-cone drill time – 7.08 seconds
Bench press – 15 reps
Clay Millen forces one & Dequan Jackson gets the Red Zone interception pic.twitter.com/qLykkMqMaA
— Justin Michael (@JustinTMichael) April 16, 2022
Dequan Jackson is a run-stopping linebacker. He flows to the ball well and is able to locate the ball carrier in traffic. Jackson shows good sideline to sideline speed in tracking the play and being able to make the stop. He shows good strength for his size and has a good reaction time, as well.
Jackson has good work ethic and determination and could make his impact on special teams to start. But his ability to pick up new skills is what’s going to help him at the next level. Jackson evolved as a linebacker throughout his career at Colorado State.
Jackson is not a pass rusher. He has the ability to get into the backfield, but it isn’t his bread and butter like run stopping is. He has ok ability in pass coverage, but it is something he knows he has to work on and is getting better at. Jackson’s ability to turn his hips hurts him pass coverage, but he’s gotten better as his career has gone on.
Jackson has a tendency to get up the field and sealed off from the play. He is a little smaller and tries to compensate with his tenacity, but it tends to backfire on Jackson on occasion. He works his angles and insticts well in run coverage, but Jackson lacks true finishing speed.
Dequan Jackson has a small chance to be just the second defensive player drafted from CSU since 2004 (Cory James, 2016, Oakland Raiders). His teneacity to get after the ball and ability to learn and grow as a linebacker are traits that will serve him well. Jackson met with Seattle and Denver during his Pro Day. Jackson could go late Day 3 or more like be an Undrafted Free Agent.