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2016 NFL Draft: William Jackson III is worth any New York Giants draft pick

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Small stage to big stage, college to the NFL; Jackson is ready.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

William Jackson III is a JUCO transfer, who started his career at Trinity Valley Junior College before emerging at Houston as one of the best cornerback prospects in recent years. Jackson is likely a first-round pick, but should slide no later than the second-round. The New York Giants still need a third cornerback. Does this talented youngster possess enough to make it worthwhile for the Giants to invest significant draft capital in his selection?

Measurables

Height: 6-feet

Weight: 189 pounds

Arm Length: 31 3/4"

Hand Size: 9 1/4"

40 Time: 4.37 seconds

Broad Jump: 116 inches

Bench Press: 10 reps

Pros

  • Excellent man-coverage skills, with the ability to shadow and trap receivers.
  • Gets good disruption and delay at the line in press schemes.
  • One-on-one, he might be the best corner in this draft at locking in on a guy.
  • Could step in right away as a starting NFL defensive back.
  • Speed and height combination is a huge asset.

Cons

  • Needs to trust his zone coverage instincts more when passing off receivers, targeting new ones.
  • Uses receiver too much for direction and angle, needs more confidence in game knowledge.
  • Has the same problem that Prince Amukamara did when playing off a receiver, he sometimes gets his footing wrong and loses an underneath route.
  • Not great against the run, potentially due to his strength, which needs work.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 25th

Mocking The Draft - 57th

CBS - 27th

Draft Tek - 30th

Does He Fit With the Giants?

In my Eli Apple prospect profile, I said that he would fit with the Giants because despite being the team's third corner -- at least as a rookie -- he could play outside and bump Janoris Jenkins inside to cover the slot. I will say the exact same thing about Jackson, though I think he's a little more versatile in his coverage than Apple may be. By playing man coverage right across the front of the secondary, it would possibly allow the defense to lock in on individual players to shadow and minimize any match-up discrepancies the offense may attempt.

I think Jackson would be a fine pick for the Giants -- whether that's at No. 10, No. 40 or otherwise -- and would provide the team with an immediate impact player. The logic for going cornerback early in this draft is sound. There's a lot of talent there, the team's safeties need all the help they can get, and it's traditionally a position that takes a lot of injuries for the Giants. Adding a "third corner" isn't the same as adding a second tight end or fourth linebacker. You absolutely need three corners. Your death will be quick and painful should you think otherwise.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I think Jackson is going to be a mid-first round pick, and some team will lock in to take him earlier than predicted because it's a premium position where plug-and-play guys like this are treated as gold dust. There is a slight possibility that he slips into the early second round, much like Landon Collins did last year, and that's where the Giants could get lucky. If he's available at No. 40 and the Giants didn't go with a defensive back in the first round, then he's absolutely the guy to take. If they want a no-risk draft-day strategy and take him at No. 10, like how they did with Ereck Flowers last year, then I'm fine with that too.