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Miami Hurricanes DE Joe Jackson Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2019 NFL Draft

Another Hurricane heads to Dallas

Michael Meredith

One of the best pass rushers to come through the University of Miami in a decade will now be tasked with terrorize some household names. Defensive end Joe Jackson was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Background Information

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 275 lbs.

Arm Length: 34⅛”

Hand Size: 10”

Class: Junior

High School: Gulliver Prep

Hometown: Homestead, Florida

Combine Performance

40-yard dash: DNP

Bench Press: 22 reps

Vertical Jump: 247”

Broad Jump: 109”

Awards and Accolades

2018 All-ACC Honorable Mention

Draft analysts and evaluators have varying criteria for what they deem as a viable pro prospect. In the case of evaluating Miami Hurricanes’ defensive end Joe Jackson, the debate between potential and production comes to the forefront.

A 6’4”, 275 pound prospect from Gulliver Prep, Jackson has production at the college level matched by few in the 2019 draft class. Arriving at Miami as a prized recruit, Jackson quickly established himself as pass rush threat, leading the team with 8.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles-for-loss. With a great jump off the snap of the ball, Jackson’s acceleration into a dip-and-rip often overwhelmed his offensive counterpart.

That first season of production wasn’t merely a blip in the plan. In his sophomore year, Jackson continued to put the heat on opponents. Piling up 59 tackles, adding 6.5 sacks and 11.5 TFL, the DE took another big step forward to being a balanced defender. Considering all the praise he received regarding his ability to rush the passer, Jackson applied himself to round out his game by improving in run defense. Stretching out his long arms to create space between himself and the blocker, Jackson utilizes his hands to remain free to make a play around the line of scrimmage. Just as important as chasing after the QB, the defensive end shows that he can stay at home and set the edge against the run — see three years of film vs Georgia Tech’s triple-option.

What seperated Jackson from some of Miami’s other edge rushers was that array of pass rush tools at his disposal. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Jackson’s hand work is efficient when he’s attacking the pocket. During the media session portion of the NFL combine, Jackson stated that his go-to move is a chop or rip paired with his knack for a quick get off. The Homestead, Florida, native also indicated that a combination of club and spin move as another staple in his arsenal. With enough speed to blow past you, Jackson also possesses the hustle on backside pursuits to get in on plays that flow to the opposite sideline.

Entering his junior year in 2018, Jackson — who has a calm, mild-mannered demeanor, based on post-practice and game interviews — assumed a leadership role on the defense. Although his play does most of the talking, No. 99 stood in front of the cameras and became one of the stronger voices in the Canes’ locker room. Turning in another superb season performance, highlighted by 47 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 9 sacks, and an interception returned for a touchdown, it was par for the course for one the key catalysts among Miami’s defense.

After declaring his intention to enter the 2019 NFL Draft, the intangible stock of Joe Jackson was high. Many in the draft community felt that his production in college would earn him lofty praise. Instead, as is the case with most prospects, the discussion digressed to traits that Jackson does not have. Jackson won’t be the fastest defensive end in the 2019 draft class. The Miami DE also lacks the unnatural bend and low center of gravity that is a common trait of the NFL’s elite edge rushers, such as Von Miller and Khalil Mack. Finally, Jackson’s first step won’t send you into a frenzy when you watch him closely before the snap.

What Joe Jackson is good at is making plays in the backfield. He’s able to apply pressure off the edge with the option of speed or power. With further development at the next level, Jackson should continue to add to his repertoire of pass rushing tactics. A relentless run-and-chase DE at 270 pounds is a rare occurrence, yet for one fortunate NFL franchise, Jackson represents an opportunity to scoop up a player who was a productive pass rusher in college and who has the potential to develop into a consistent performer in the league.

Pro Comparison

NFL Comparison Danielle Hunter — Minnesota Vikings

Stylistically speaking, Jackson reminds me of a player who also wears No. 99 — DE Danielle Hunter. Both Jackson and Hunter are 4-3 defensive ends who bring some juice as pass rushers off the line of scrimmage. Neither player is as twitched up as their peers at the position, yet each manages to create pressure rushing the passer. Drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Hunter has evolved into a stalwart of the Vikings’ defense.

State of the U would like to congratulate Joe Jackson on becoming the next ProCane star to represent the University of Miami at the NFL level.