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Possibility at 17: Tyson Jackson

As we head for the Draft, Gang Green Nation will take a look at some potential picks for the team. Today we will profile Tyson Jackson, a defensive end from Louisiana State University.

What NFL Draft Countdown thinks:

Outstanding size and bulk...Has a big frame with long arms and large hands...Powerful with excellent strength...Tough and physical...Good athleticism...Quick with a burst...Uses his hands well...Can really hold his ground...Terrific bull rusher...Offers a lot of versatility...Has a lot of experience against elite competition... Hard worker ... Team leader.

Average timed speed...Motor is inconsistent...Questionable instincts and awareness...Needs to do a better job of shedding blocks...Doesn't change directions well...Has some trouble in space...Not a threat off the edge...Just an average pass rusher and  won't rack up a lot of sacks.

What SB Nation's Mocking the Draft thinks:

Strengths: Jackson is a big, powerful defensive end who specializes in stopping the run. Could easily play as a three-technique tackle in a 4-3 or a five-technique end in a 3-4. Has played both at LSU, so he has some versatility. Has the strength to shed blocks quickly and get into the backfield. Better as a pass rusher on the inside. Does a really nice job getting his hands up to bat down passes. Knows how to play off the cut block nicely.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t have great athleticism or speed. A little slow off the line of scrimmage. Doesn’t close very quickly. Needs to be coached up in his pass rush moves. Really only uses his strength to get to a quarterback. Comes out of his stance too high, which allows blockers to control his frame. Not asked to stunt a lot, which is puzzling.

What I think:

Jackson was born to play end in the 3-4. Owning a 6'4" 295 pound frame with a 6'10" wingspan, he has all of the measurables. His brute strength, stout play at the point of attack, and above average use of his hands are all attributes essential to playing end in the 3-4. He does not have the athleticism or assortment of pass rushing moves to be successful in a 4-3 pro system at end, but because of the 3-4, he is a potential first round pick. His job will be to tie up linemen. Scouting a player's strength is relatively easy. This makes Tyson a safe pick. Considering the amount of money first rounders get, safe picks are often the best picks.