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Miami Hurricanes CB Michael Jackson Sr. Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2019 NFL Draft

This Miami ‘Thriller’ goes from Coral Gables to Dallas

Michael Meredith

Just like that, our Michael Jackson puns and allusions are now in the hands of NFL writers and columnists. We’d never tell him to beat it, but like the smooth criminal he is, MJ is going to moonwalk right into his future. Our apologies, but we had to give Michael Jackson Sr. one last proper farewell. With a selection in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys have chosen former Miami Hurricanes cornerback Michael Jackson Sr.

Background Information

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 210 pounds

Arm Length: 32½”

Hand Size: 9¾”

High School: Spain Park HS

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Combine Numbers

40-yard Dash: 4.45 seconds

Bench Press: 13 reps

Vertical Jump: 40.5”

Broad Jump: 130”

3 Cone Drill:

20-yard Shuttle:

60-yard Shuttle:

Awards and Accolades

Named a honorable mention to All Scouting Combine Team by Chad Reuter of

2018 All-ACC Honorable Mention

2017 Second Team All-ACC

As football fans, we all have moments where we lose our patience. We need to score, we need a stop, and we need that freshman to produce right away, rather than when he becomes an upperclassmen. There’s something to be said for a player who can gradually improve in college, the student-athletes pushing themselves each offseason to make their next season better than the last. Given the illustrious history of talent to come from the University of Miami, the development of NFL stars at the institution is exemplified in cornerback Michael Jackson Sr.

By now, Mike Jack is accustomed to the ‘Man in the Mirror’, ‘Moonwalking’ and ‘Thriller’ references attached with each play he factors into. However, there’s a clear separation of the two men when Jackson Sr. steps onto the football field. He established himself as one of the premier defensive backs in the country during his upperclassmen years. Given his humble beginnings at Miami, many were pleasantly surprised at how integral Jackson Sr. became to the Hurricanes’ defense.

Jackson has a tall sturdy frame for a cornerback entering the NFL. As a cornerback who is over six-foot, MJ has the size and experience coming from Miami to play press man coverage against bigger-bodied receivers. With good timing, Jackson does enough to disrupt the route after the snap. He also has great speed and is able to stay with his matchup down the field. Jackson is susceptible to double-moves and in-breaking routes, yet illustrates his ability to recover well to make a play on the ball or the receiver.

After spending his freshman season working primarily on special teams, Jackson progressed to gain a rotational role as a defensive back. His junior season (2017) is when he enjoyed his biggest breakout. Securing 43 tackles, four interceptions, three tackles-for-loss, five pass breakups and a sack put him on the national radar. While there was discussion regarding whether or not he would declare early for the 2018 NFL Draft, Jackson Sr. ultimately chose to remain a Hurricane for another season.

Entering the 2018 season with expectations to thrive at the next level, Jackson went from a relative unknown to preseason All-Conference nominee in one offseason. Jackson’s numbers as a senior won’t overwhelm you — 42 tackles, 6 PBUs, 3.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks — but he turned in yet another productive season.

More importantly, Jackson became a father for the first time before the start of the 2018 season. Juggling a multitude of labels such as Dad, student-athlete and team captain, the Alabama product handled all the responsibilities placed upon him. This doesn’t come as a shock to Canes fans who have witnessed the evolution of MJ from a quiet teenager to the vocal leader of Miami’s CBs in 2018. Motivated by his son and his family, Jackson now sets his sight on becoming the next star from the U at the NFL level.

Given his performance as the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, it is apparent that Mike Jack is an athletic specimen who could work as an outside corner as pro. Given the way Miami emphasizes their corners to be tough against the run, MJ is a plus defender in run support. Using his long arms, Jackson is a wrap-up tackler that shows no hesitation corralling the quarterback or ball carrier to the grass.

When asked how he would describe his game, Jackson referred to himself as an aggressive cornerback. That holds true when you watch film and see No. 28 locate the ball in coverage and bat away a pass or eclipse the intended target from making the reception. Under the tutelage of Miami defensive back coach Mike Rumph, Michael Jackson exceeded all expectations when he arrived to UM campus. As he becomes one step closer to joining corners like DeMarcus van Dyke and Antrel Rolle and representing the U in the NFL, it feels like those who are unfamiliar with Michael Jackson Sr. are underestimating his talent. A motivated, hungry and mature prospect, the evolution of Michael Jackson will continue well into his NFL career.

Pro Comparison

Rasul Douglas - Philadelphia Eagles

Six-foot tall cornerbacks are fairly common in today’s NFL. They’re necessary to combat offenses that employ large receivers. Rasul Douglas has played two seasons in the league and has shown potential to be a staple of the Eagles’ defense. Douglas’ listed playing weight is above 200 pounds and both he and Jackson have an ability to break up intended passes. I think Jackson has the better hands of the two, but depending on where MJ is drafted, his trajectory to becoming a rotational player shares some similarities with Douglas.

State of the U would like to congratulate Michael Jackson Sr. on being drafted in the NFL. Canes fans look forward to following your career at the next level!