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2016 NFL Draft Player Breakdown: William Jackson

Houston's William Jackson III is exactly what the Dolphins covet at cornerback. He's big, he's fast and most importantly, he's physical. With the 13th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select; William Jackson, cornerback, Houston.

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Who is William Jackson III?

William Jackson, raised in Houston, Texas, was a three-star recruit out of high school. The 6’0, 189-pound cornerback would accept a scholarship to play at the University of Houston. As a freshman, Jackson attended Trinity Valley Community College. He would later enroll at Houston for his sophomore year. During his sophomore season, Jackson made an impact on defense and special teams. He contributed in 12 games for the Cougars, totaling 29 tackles and one interception. As a junior, Jackson continued to play well, beginning to show the world why he was a highly touted corner from Wheatley High School. Jackson recorded 36 tackles and two interceptions. In his final year at Houston, Jackson played his best season yet, amassing 43 tackles and five interceptions. He broke up 23 passes in 2015, a career high for the standout corner.

The Good

Jackson is one of the best cover corners in this year’s draft class.  He is physical at the line and has a knack for forcing receivers off their designated route.  In this play, Jackson presses the wide receiver to the outside.  He runs stride for stride with the wide receiver, eventually coming down with the interception.  His big body and elite speed allow him to take risks in the secondary.

In this play, Jackson shows off his ability to read and react to the run.  As the run begins to develop, Jackson breaks away from his receiver, squaring his shoulder.  He then lowers his head, laying a big hit on the opposing running back.  Jackson may not be the biggest or hardest hitting corner, but he does know how to inflict pain on his opponents.

Here, Jackson is playing off the receiver who decides to run a quick slant route.  Tulane's quarterback sees this, and decides to throw the ball immediately to the wide receiver .  Jackson reads the slant, laying the big hit on the intended receiver.  The ball falls hopelessly to the ground for the incomplete pass.

In this play, Jackson allows the wide receiver to beat him deep down field.  Fortunately, Florida State's quarterback under throws his intended receiver, giving him the opportunity to make a play on the ball.  Jackson uses his 4.37 recovery speed to gain ground on the receiver, eventually coming down with the interception.

Here, Jackson mirrors the receiver's route perfectly.  Jackson reads the quarterback's eyes as he starts to roll to the right.  Once the ball is in the air, he breaks on the football causing the incompletion.

William Jackson is very good at reading the receiver's body language.  In fact, it often seems as though Jackson himself is the one running the route.  Here, he reads the defender and breaks up the pass for the incompletion.  Although he may have been a step early, Jackson shows off his elite quickness and ability to dissect the play before the ball leaves the quarterback's hands.

Despite everything good that William Jackson does, there are a few things he can improve on in the NFL.

The Bad

In this play, William Jackson times the corner blitz perfectly.  However, despite having a clear shot at Tulane's quarterback, Jackson misses the sack allowing an additional four yards on the play.

Here, instead of continuing to move forward to make the tackle, William Jackson hesitates allowing the running back to pick up an additional two yards.  Jackson has to trust instincts, becoming more decisive in the process. This remains a reoccurring issue with young corner.

In the NFL, Jackson may have trouble defending some of the bigger receivers.  Here, Rudolph takes a short pass and turns it into a big gain.  Jackson is caught flat footed, beaten badly by the receiver.  He must improve on his tackling and run defense if he wants to have continued success in the NFL.

The Skinny

The Dolphins will have an important decision to make when the team is on the clock at 13th overall.  Assuming Vernon Hargreaves is gone, I expect the Dolphins to highly consider William Jackson III.  Miami could try to get cute, trading down several spots and still landing Jackson, although this option seems unlikely.  Jackson fits the scheme that the Dolphins intend to run and has the ideal size to succeed within the defense.  Furthermore, he flashed elite speed at the combine, running a 4.37 forty.  His 1.52 10 yard split was tied second with Jalen Ramsey.  Jackson has quick hips and a fluid motion that allows him to compete against the best. If drafted by Miami, he would likely start opposite of Maxwell giving the Dolphins a much needed playmaker in the secondary. Even though it may take time for Jackson to adjust to the speed of the NFL, he will be given every opportunity to start.  Jackson possesses the physical traits to excel in the NFL, whether that be with the Dolphins or elsewhere.  I expect big things from William Jackson III in 2016 and beyond.

All clips were taken from

This article was written by Josh Houtz.  Follow him on Twitter!