clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Q&A with Underdog Dynasty on Bengals' first round pick William Jackson III

New, comments

Underdog Dynasty's Jeremy Adcock tells us about Will Jackson's team-first attitude, size and speed, confidence and more from his time at Houston.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

We got in touch with Jeremy Adcock at Underdog Dynasty, SB Nation's American Athletic Conference website that covers the Houston Cougars to learn more about William Jackson, the Bengals' first round draft pick.

Cincy Jungle: What was Will best known for at Houston?

Jeremy Adcock: His team first attitude. Jackson is a Houston product, born and raised, and wanted nothing more than to turn the program into an elite program that went to bowls on a yearly basis. He gave up personal accomplishments in order to better help the team earn wins.

CJ: Did he have any injuries during his time in college? Anything that is a red flag?

JA: Jackson was very healthy for a majority of his college career. He did miss a single game during his senior season, but that was more for precautionary reasons. He has zero injury concerns at all.

CJ: What do you see as his strengths?

JA: His combination of size and speed. Jackson is that prototypical 6-0, 198 pound cornerback with long legs and arms. He plays even bigger than his 6-0 frame. Jackson has blazing speed and tends to play even quicker in pads. He does an excellent job of adjusting on the fly to his receiver. He can figure out not only what route the receiver is running, but run that same route better than the receiver and break up passes. He was the FBS leader in pass breakups/interceptions last season.

CJ: What about weaknesses?

JA: Jackson is a supremely confident player and wants to make an impact on every play. That turns into a weakness because he will take too many chances in coverage. He is a cover corner that does not like to get involved versus the run game. His overall physicality in the run game leaves something to be desired.

CJ: Did he play much in the slot?

JA: Very little. He was the type of player that went to the outside to shut down the other team's top receiver. He does have the makeup and versatility to play inside as long as he isn't expected to be too involved in stopping the run game. He is not only fast, but also very quick with the ability to handle players in the slot. He is best long term on the outside on an island.

CJ: Were you expecting him to be drafted as highly as he was?

JA: Yes and no. Jackson came into the 2015 season as a projected third or fourth round pick. He had all the physical tools, but hadn't put it all together. He finally did last fall and turned into one of the best cornerbacks in the nation. Many NFL Draft experts had him rated at or above the level of Eli Apple of Ohio State. He has the highest upside of any cornerback outside of Jalen Ramsey in this year's draft.

CJ: What do you think Bengals fans would be happy to know about him?

He is not only a great player, but a great team-oriented player as well. He took the hard route to the NFL and has that drive to be the best player at his position. He will make at least one Pro Bowl in the next two seasons in my opinion.

CJ: How did he fare when Houston played Power 5 conference teams and bowl teams?

JA: He plays his best versus the best competition. His stats do not show up as much against many teams like other players, but that is because teams do not throw in his direction. He missed the 2015 meeting versus Memphis, but has interceptions versus UCF, Temple, Vanderbilt, and Florida State. The Peach Bowl versus Florida State may have been his best overall performance. He had a career-high 10 tackles to go along with two interceptions and Defensive MVP honors.

CJ: How did Jackson do against Paxton Lynch? Ironically they may face each other in Week 3 for Denver vs Cincy in Jackson's first NFL home game.

JA: Jackson missed the 2015 meeting with a small injury, and Lynch threw for nearly 300 yards. In the 2014 meeting with Williams on the field, Lynch only threw for 243 yards and three interceptions. On several occasions, he threw to covered receivers in order to stay away from Jackson.

CJ: Anything else you think Bengals fans should know?

JA: Everyone expected him to go to the Steelers with the very next pick, so not only did the Bengals get a great player, they also kept Pittsburgh from getting the player they had targeted all along.