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Preseason Scouting Notes: Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa

Senior | 6’6’’ 320 lbs | Detroit, MI

 

An absolute unit of an O-Lineman whose size and power is neutralized by a lack of speed and balance

 

Overview:

Alaric Jackson is a second team All-Big Ten Lineman with the size and strength to match anyone who opposes him. Iowa’s zone run scheme doesn’t do him any favors, asking him to move downfield instead of utilizing his raw power to establish gap supremacy. Despite this, Jackson has garnered relatively high draft hype approaching the 2020 season. Having started for Iowa since 2017, Jackson has the experience to lead Iowa’s stout offensive line this season, and he will look to carry his momentum into the 2021 NFL draft.

Strengths:

– Massive figure gives him ideal size and bulk for the position
– Shows patience in pass protection
– Long arms keep defenders at bay
– Effectively baits defenders on cut blocks
– Has flashed incredible power on run plays
– Resets his hands constantly when fighting with pass rushers
– Effectively picks up Tackle-Edge stunts

Areas to improve:

– Plays high and can lose the leverage battle because of it
– Susceptible to bull rushes in pass protection due to lack of balance, notably on speed to power rushes from edge defenders
– Lacks the lateral mobility to scoop block 3-techniques
– Was beaten on the more creative pass rush moves that he faced
– Often lunges on plays where defenders attempt to avoid or deceive him
– Blew protection on a few delayed rushes

Injury History:

– Right knee injury in 2019 caused him to miss 3 games. Was reportedly not 100 percent for the rest of the season thereafter

Projection:

Jackson is freakishly large. With every bit of his 6-foot-6, 320-pound frame, he bullies defenders in the run game. This will translate to the NFL, but not quite as well as he would like, as many NFL defenders capitalize off of their size as well. Jackson’s pure power is offset by his feet, whose poor placement give rise to his susceptibility to bull rushes at times. He usually plays smart, however, reacting quickly to stunts and shifts in the defense. Jackson will struggle with the more creative NFL pass rushers due to his lack of mobility. Although he runs mostly zone at Iowa, Jackson would succeed more in a power run heavy scheme in the NFL, focused on clearing gaps and embracing his pure strength. Many NFL coaches covet this type of body at tackle and will draft Jackson hoping he can harness his technique and develop into a Pro Bowler. Expect Jackson to be drafted in the middle of the third round in 2021 if his stock holds.

What to watch in 2020:

Jackson will need to continue his dominance in the run game if he wishes to be drafted highly. Many times on film, defenders would merely run away from him, knowing they stood no chance in a one-on-one scuffle. Jackson’s propensity to overwhelm defenders with size is essential to his play, so expect him to continue that trend. Seeing better balance in pass pro is entirely necessary to quell bull rushes, and his foot placement will need to improve to better equip himself for NFL play. Although he might lack the athletic ability to do so, Jackson’s inability to scoop 3-techniques was visible on film, and improvement in that regard would greatly increase his ability in a zone running scheme.