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2016 NFL Draft: William Jackson III prospect profile

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Niners Nation's Jake Narayan takes a closer look at Houston cornerback William Jackson III in our latest pre-draft scouting profile.

Cornerback William Jackson III arrived at Houston as a two-time All-District 22-4A selection on both offense and defense while at Wheatley High School. He saw his first college action in 2013, appearing in all 13 games played. He finished second on the team with seven pass break ups in four starts. In 2014, he tallied 37 tackles, one interception, one forced fumble and recovery in 12 starts in a 13-game season. Jackson III broke out in 2015, recording a very successful season. He led the nation and set a Houston single-season record for most PBU's with 23. Jackson III also garnered five interceptions, 28 defended passes and 43 total tackles. He was the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Defensive MVP, a part of SI's 2015 All-Bowl Team, and a 2016 Reese's Senior Bowl invitee.

The Basics

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 189 lbs
Broad Jump: 116"
40 Yard Dash: 4.37
Arm Length: 31 1/4"
Bench Press Reps (BPR): 10

How He Compares To Other Cornerbacks

Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State: 4.40 40 yard dash, 13 BPR
James Bradberry, CB, Samford, 4.40 40 yard dash, 16 BPR, 124" broad jump
Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida: 4.50 40 yard dash, 15 BPR, 130" broad jump
Kevin Peterson, CB, Oklahoma State: 4.66 40 yard dash, 14 BPR, 121" broad jump
Maurice Canady, CB, Virginia: 4.49 40 yard dash, 16 BPR, 125" broad jump

The Rundown

Positives:

  • Impressive instincts; diagnoses run or pass easily

  • Displays great ball skills; has a nose for the ball

  • Good transition quickness in and out of breaks, keeps low in his back pedal, and smooth hips to go along with above-par change of direction skills

  • Mirrors receiver well; stays in opponent's hip pocket from the semi-trail position

  • More than willing to come up and hit

  • Put recovery speed concerns to bed with 4.37 40 yard dash.

Negatives:

  • Needs to learn to be more patient when pressing in man coverage and quit lunging at the receiver

  • Despite being aggressive in the run-game, Jackson can stand to clean up open field tackling (stay more under control)

  • Evolve his hand fighting at the line of scrimmage

Conclusion

Seeing the 49ers ranked No. 27 in pass yards allowed last season (261.2), a big-time cornerback with the ability to flip the field game after game would be of great use to a well-depleted secondary. While Jackson's draft stock is on the rise, there is a possibility of him being there in the second round at pick No. 37.