It is mini-camp and OTA’s time for NFL teams. Young players, new players and veterans have the chance to prove themselves to a new group of coaches and staff. Every year, players can make or break their season beginning at OTA’s and mini-camp. 4th year cornerback Josh Jackson is the final year of his rookie contract, is among those players who need to prove themselves. Jackson was drafted out of the university of Iowa in the 2nd round in 2018. He has yet to live up to the hype of being a upper tier pick in the NFL draft. With Jaire Alexander locking one side and the Packers drafting Eric Stokes in the first round this year, this is a make or break year for Josh Jackson.
In his three years with the Packers, Jackson has yet to put together a consistent 16 game season. His best season might be his rookie season. He played in all 16 games, starting 10 and producing 49 total tackles, one fumble recovery and 10 passes defended. Jackson started 10 games due to the injuries Kevin King suffered throughout the season, limiting him to only 6 games. Jackson showed a lot of promise after his rookie season, potentially creating a high level duo at cornerback with Alexander.
2019 and beyond
2019 saw Jackson play in 14 games, but did not start due to King returning healthy for a full season. While Jackson’s PFF grade in 2019 (60.4) was slightly higher than his rookie season, the impact he made on the field was visibly less. Only 11 total tackles, compared to 49 his rookie season, with zero passes defended or interceptions. His play became erratic during his second season, where the second-round pick was first questioned on his play-making ability.
The 2020 season, his 3rd (and final) under Mike Pettine’s defense saw his play decrease even further than 2019. Jackson only appeared in 12 games, starting five, due to starter Kevin King suffering injuries that held him out for multiple games. He also produced his worst PFF grade of only 52, lowest in his three year career.
Jackson is a big corner, who has the ball skils that teams covet in the NFL, but he has yet put it all together to establish himself as a starting cornerback. In his potentially final year as a Packer, and the Packers drafting a cornerback in the first round, this is a make or break year for Josh Jackson.