49ers Select LB Drake Jackson at 61

The 49ers used their first pick in the 2022 NFL draft (Number 61 overall) to take linebacker Drake Jackson out of USC.

Overview

Jackson lacks play strength but has the frame to add muscle and mass. He’s a loose-limbed, restless pass rusher with the activity level to find angles and openings in both his primary and secondary rush. However, he lacks successful counters to do it consistently against stronger tackles. Jackson also lacks the take-on toughness and functional anchor needed to hold up at the point on run downs. He has developmental rush potential, but needs a major upgrade in grit and technique against the run.

Strengths

  • Athletic with long strides in space.
  • Backside quickness to beat reach block and tackle down the line.
  • Follows the action with good reactive athleticism.
  • Has bend and corner talent at the edge.
  • Stays low when making inside entry on two-way go.
  • Accelerates feet through contact for his secondary rush.
  • Upper-body swivel helps him slip the punch.
  • Effective use of length to keep himself clean.
  • Looked natural in limited drops into space.

Weaknesses

  • Action rusher who needs to level up in skill.
  • Hasn’t developed rush counters against power.
  • Base isn’t strong enough to fight through redirection.
  • Plays into — and not through — blocker with initial punch.
  • Lacks physical demeanor at the point of attack.
  • Rolled out of the gap against his will.
  • Excessive arm tackling.

Sources Tell Us
“He should have kept his weight up instead of trying to lose it. He’s a good athlete regardless of weight and he’s not big or strong enough right now.” — Scout for AFC team

Source – [NFL.com]

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