The Cowboys completed their fifth-round double dip by drafting Joe Jackson with the 165th overall selection. Another defender, another Miami Hurricane, another Jackson.
Joe Jackson is not related to Michael Jackson, the CB from the same school selected by Dallas just seven spots earlier.
Joe Jackson is listed at 6-foot-4-inches and 275 pounds. In his report for NFL.com, analyst Lance Zierlein likens Jackson to a “bull in a china shop” who created “consistent production” while at Miami. He recorded 22.5 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss in just three years as a Hurricane and will add young depth to a loaded defensive line within Rod Marinelli’s unit.
Over the course of the last three seasons, the Hurricanes’ defensive line has been one of Miami’s most consistent, productive units.
And now, for the third straight year, that unit has produced an NFL draft pick.
Defensive end Joe Jackson, who led the Hurricanes with nine sacks last season, was drafted Saturday in the fifth round by the Dallas Cowboys with the 165th pick.
He follows in the steps of former Hurricanes defensive linemen Al-Quadin Muhammad, who was a sixth-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2017 and teammates Chad Thomas, Kendrick Norton and RJ McIntosh, all of whom were drafted last year.
And in Dallas, Jackson will join another former Miami teammate — cornerback Michael Jackson, who was drafted by the Cowboys just minutes earlier with the 158th pick.
A former standout at Miami’s Gulliver Prep, Jackson wasted little time making an impact when he arrived in Coral Gables three years ago.
He earned freshman All-American honors by ESPN after leading the Hurricanes in both tackles for loss (11.5) and sacks (8.5) in 2016. He built on that success to become one of the Hurricanes’ most reliable pass rushers in recent years, collecting 47 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss last season. He also had an interception, broke up three passes and notched a team-high nine QB hurries.
He opted to bypass his senior year at Miami to enter the draft and his decision paid off, with Jackson quickly earning attention from several teams, including the Saints, Raiders, Cardinals and Titans, all of whom reportedly met with the defensive end in the weeks leading up to this weekend’s draft.
Now, Jackson hopes to add to Miami’s tradition in the NFL.
“This is an opportunity that you will never really get in another lifetime,” Jackson told reporters at the NFL combine earlier this year. “It’s just something we appreciate … We’re just trying to continue that legacy at ‘The U,’ having guys who come into the NFL and produce right away or guys that help teams become powerhouses, that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Jackson’s selection continues a run on defensive linemen that began during Thursday’s first round when 12 linemen were drafted including former St. Thomas Aquinas standout Nick Bosa, who went No. 2 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Also drafted in the first round were tackle Quinnen Williams (No. 3 by the Jets), end Clelin Ferrell (No. 4 by the Raiders), tackle Ed Oliver (No. 9 by the Bills), end Rashan Gary (No. 12 by the Packers), tackle Christian Wilkins (No. 13 by the Dolphins), edge Brian Burns (No. 16 by the Panthers), tackle Dexter Lawrence (No. 17 by the Giants), tackle Jeffery Simmons (No. 19 by the Titans), edge Montez Sweat (No. 26 by the Redskins), tackle Jerry Tillery (No. 28 by the Chargers) and end L.J. Collier (No. 29 by the Seahawks).
The Dallas Cowboys have selected former Miami defensive end Joe Jackson with the 165th-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Yes, you read this correctly. Only a few picks after selecting cornerback Michael Jackson — also from Miami — with the 158th-overall pick, the two teammates will reunite in North Texas and undoubtedly be welcomed by all manner of Jackson 5 quips. The obvious being now stated, the Cowboys are thrilled with both picks, as Joe Jackson finds himself dropped into an all-out war on the defensive line.
The Cowboys feel they can’t possibly have enough bodies on their defensive front as they enter a summer with a ton of competition already in place, and it shows.
Now (finally) enjoying a truly dominant pass rush for the first time since the likes of future Hall of Fame linebacker DeMarcus Ware graced the halls, the Cowboys aren’t looking to be complacent going forward. They’ve locked in veteran defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence on a five-year, $105 million deal with $65 million in guarantees and struck a deal that landed All-Pro pass rusher Robert Quinn for a 2020 sixth-round pick. Quinn will join the newly-acquired Kerry Hyder in playing opposite Lawrence while the verdict on Randy Gregory’s future hovers about, and throwing Jackson into the fire injects that much more kerosene into the already emblazoned level of talent across the defensive front.
The 6-foot-4, 275 lb. pass rusher from South Florida isn’t as weighty as the team’s 58th-overall pick in Trysten Hill, but he doesn’t have to be when you consider they’ll have different tasks. While Hill bullies the interior, the expectation is Jackson will supplant the edge as needed while giving the Cowboys an ability to flex him right of center (3-tech) as needed.
From the moment he first stepped onto a football field wearing a Hurricanes’ uniform, Joe Jackson was projected to be the next star pass rusher from The U to go the NFL. After three seasons in which he led the Hurricanes in sacks, Jackson sets his sights on dominating the NFL.
Noted for his pass rushing instinct and ability, the Gulliver Prep graduate applied himself to become a good run defender to round out his game. A blend of speed and power at 6’5”, 265 pounds, Jackson was one of the most dynamic weapons on a talent-rich Hurricane defense.
So why are we bothering to watch film? Well, aside from poking holes in his game — there are always concerns that need to be addressed regarding any prospect — Jackson remains a blue chip bargain for all 32 teams this spring. We watched the highlights and game film from the 2018 season to get a better understanding of Jackson, the player. Here’s what we found out.
Works the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle of UNC to get to the QB. A coverage, sack, Jackson keeps working through the block to pick up the sack and force the fumble. Does a decent job of working his hands against FSU OT to pick up a sack late in the 4th qtr Wins with a shoulder dip, rip, and speed rush. Good closing speed on Duke QB Daniel Jones when he rolled out. Able to make shoestring tackle. Set the edge well late against GT to keep the Canes in the game. Demonstrates explosion against the Hokies OT that was caught flat-footed on his way to a sack. Angle of pursuit helps him coral QBs in the backfield consistently. Gets his hands up in the passing lane when he feels that he won’t make it before the pass is thrown. Loves to rip and lean into the blocker as he rounds his way towards the QB. Relentless motor. Even after he’s is walled off early in the play, he keeps moving his legs and makes sure to keep vision on the ball-handler. Illustrating that he is truly never out of a play. Fights hard through double-teams, careen forward to maintain gap integrity. Works his hands at point of attack to shed blockers.
Lets offensive tackles get too much into his chest, stunting his rush. Has explosion off the snap, but appears to get flustered if he does not find success off of first move. Plays with a high pad level that could lead to him getting out leveraged by athletic tackles. Posses few counters, but his repertoire will only expand at the next level.