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Tre Jackson, the three-year starter at guard for the Florida St. Seminoles, enters the 2015 NFL Draft after a consistent and reliable collegiate tenure. Jackson was a consensus All-American in 2014 as well as a First Team All-ACC performer in both 2013 and 2014. Physically, Jackson is a prototype NFL guard at 6’4″ and 330 lbs. He possesses a wide frame with a thick lower half. He has the kind of bubble needed to anchor versus power. Athletically, Jackson displays very good movement skills for a man of his size. He gets out of his stance quickly and bends well. He’s coordinated when working his way to the second level and can finish blocks in space. Jackson has enough athleticism to pull down the LOS and get out in front of the play. In addition to his sound athleticism, Jackson has good strength; he can sit in his stance and anchor versus power while maintaining the pocket’s integrity. He is a bit vulnerable to quick inside moves that cross his face, but he has enough quickness to recover. In the run game, Jackson is effective as a power player and finesse guy, but he really excels in a phone booth. He is a classic in-line blocker who drives his opponent off the ball while clearing lanes for the back. Even when he doesn’t get good movement off the ball, he locks into the defender and is a real challenge to shed. In space, Jackson is surprisingly effective in reaching his assignment. His size and mass is difficult for the linebacker to navigate around. In pass protection, Jackson tends to absorb power rather than consistently punch with his hands, but his base and natural power works. On the next level, he’ll have to he better with his hands to in order to consistently compete versus NFL defensive tackles.
BOTTOM LINE: Tre Jackson is a plug and play starter who brings natural size and power along with a lot of experience to the NFL. His body of work is consistent and effective, even if he doesn’t jump off the screen as a mauling pancake artist. Jackson is the kind of prospect who will quietly get his job done and have a long career as a starting NFL guard. He’s sure to go on Day 2, and presents good value in the second round.
GRADE: 7.5 (2nd Round)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)