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Niners Nation Scouting Report: DeSean Jackson, WR, California

Considering our use of the scouting report to get a better idea of 49ers draft prospects, a little web surfing brings me to former Cal star DeSean Jackson.  I was checking out New Era Scouting and they had a new 2-round mock draft with some intriguing results.  Never mind the fact that the person predicted Joe Flacco as our first round pick.  The more interesting one was DeSean Jackson as a possible 2nd round pick.  While Jackson's speed is not in doubt, his size is considered an issue by many.  While listed at close to 180 lbs, many say he's closer to 170.  Either way, he could clearly become a special teams freak and eventually turn into a special player, given his skill set.  According to New Era Scouting:

Jackson played well throughout his college career, even with spotty quarterback play. At this point, Jackson is more of an athlete than a football player. An early entrant who wisely came out. May not have a lot of upside, unless he can get bigger without losing his agility or quickness. He'll never be a workhorse, 100-catch receiver. He'll likely have to start his career on special teams, where he is excellent. Jackson's slight frame and durability concerns could be problematic to his draft stock. More detrimental, though, is his inability to run the kind of crisp, solid routes he'll have too at the next level.

New Era projects his best case as a Santana Moss type of player and his worst case as a Troy Edwards type.  Now I would certainly enjoy having Santana Moss on the team, but it's certainly a toss-up whether he becomes that type of player.  I checked out ESPN's scouting report for comparison purposes:

Strengths: Possesses excellent top-end speed, does a good job of tracking the ball downfield and is a vertical threat. Changes directions smoothly, explodes out of cuts and can run crisp short-to-intermediate routes . . . Has excellent body control and can make the tough catch in traffic. Times jumps well and is tall enough to compete for jump balls. Isn't afraid to go over the middle and flashes the ability to hold onto the ball after taking a big hit.

Weaknesses: Lacks ideal bulk and can get pushed around by bigger corners. Appears to lose focus at times and drops too many passes that he should catch. Footwork is inconsistent and rounds off cuts at times. Effort is inconsistent and appears to pull up when isn't going to get the ball. Doesn't lock onto defenders and struggles to sustain blocks.

Overall: Jackson can stretch the field vertically, he excels at turning catches underneath into long gains and he is the most dangerous punt return specialist in the 2008 class. It may take Jackson a year or two before emerging as a No. 2 starter on offense, but he should make an immediate impact on special teams.

So after the various discussions about wide receivers in the draft and DeSean Jackson in particular, is there a consensus on him?  If you continue the Santana Moss comparison, Moss is slightly shorter, but outweighs Jackson by 20 lbs.  Considering Jackson's speed is his biggest asset, do you have him bulk up a little bit when that could slow him down?  It almost turns into a catch-22 situation.  Here's a potential comparison: Early Doucet from LSU is 6-0 207, Jackson is 6-0 170-180.  I'm working up an Early Doucet scouting report, but if it came down to those two, which would you choose?