Photo credit: Grant Halverson / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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Rookie cornerback Donte Jackson was selected in the 2nd round by the Carolina Panthers and he’s already been defying expectations. First Jackson won a starting job which isn’t easy to do and now the former LSU Tiger has recorded 3 interceptions. Those impressive stats are a result of Jackson’s blazing speed and playmaking abilities. You can line this guy up against players like Tyreek Hill or Marquise Goodwin and Jackson is going to stay with them more than most other DBs would. That’s what 4.32 speed does for you and he can excel in man or zone coverage. We’re witnessing another star in the making and Carolina hasn’t had a defensive back this promising since Josh Norman was locking down one half of the field. To be honest though Jackson is going to be a much better player than Norman was. It took the current Washington Redskins cornerback (Norman) three years to record his first 3 interceptions. Jackson has done that in just six games so he’s way ahead of that pace. The other thing that stands out about the 22 year old (Jackson) is how vocal he is. People don’t realize that communication is so key to running a successful defense. By identifying potential threats and relaying that information to their teammates, players can make better adjustments on the fly. Jackson does this well and it’s every thing you want from someone who could be the leader of that defense someday. Carolina needed another alpha to pair alongside Luke Kuechly and so far Jackson is doing a great job of fulfilling that role. Eventually Julius Peppers and Thomas Davis are going to leave and someone else will have to step up. At the moment Carolina’s 2018 second round pick looks the part and he’s going to continue to get better over the next five or ten years.
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Rookie on the come up. Donte Jackson is showing glimpses of greatness early on in his career.