When the New York Giants drafted cornerback Bennett Jackson in the sixth round a year ago, there was some discussion that ultimately Jackson might have a better future in the NFL as a safety. In his second season that has become a reality for Jackson. Let's look closer at the 23-year-old as we continue our series of player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2014 Season in Review
Drafted in the sixth round, Jackson began the season on the practice squad. He finished the season on injured reserve due to what he called "real small micro-fracture [surgery] on my left knee" to fix torn cartilage. The season was, basically, a lost one for Jackson.
2015 Season Outlook
Jackson is basically still a rookie, both because he missed almost all of the 2014 season and because he is learning a new position. As such, he fits right in with the Giants group of inexperienced safeties.
"I get more and more comfortable as it goes by. I still make my mistakes here and there, but as long as they're not the same mistakes that helps you out. It just makes you more confident as you go along," Jackson said.
Jackson, 6-feet, 192 pounds, sees himself as more of a free safety than a box safety. While Landon Collins, Cooper Taylor and Nat Berhe can play both spots, all three may be better suited to the strong safety spot. Jackson and rookie fifth-round pick Mykkele Thompson may be the only safeties with true free safety skill sets.
"You're basically the director. You've got to set everything and then play off what you see other guys doing. It's different," Jackson said. "I like safety a lot. I think I could do some damage back there at the free safety position. It's just something that I've got to keep learning until it becomes second nature like cornerback was for me. The only way that's going to happen is through repetition."
Jackson, despite admitting he had "heard all the worst" about micro-fracture surgery, recovered quickly and was fully cleared before OTAs and rookie mini-camp, which he participated in, began.
"It's [the knee] been good," Jackson said. "I'm happy with how it's going."
Jackson figures to get plenty of chances during training camp and the preseason, and figures to at least make the roster as part of a safety group which will have a lot to prove.