If you have been paying close attention to news regarding Bengals cornerback William Jackson, then you know guys like Pro Football Focus absolutely love him.
Jackson is also often referred to by local media members as the Bengals best corner after what he showed last season. We can now add Pete Prisco of CBS Sports to the list of people who are all about Jackson.
Prisco recently made a list of 10 breakout players for the 2018 (that purposely excluded quarterbacks) and this is what he had to say about Jackson:
The Bengals have spent a lot of draft collateral on corners over the years, and it looks like they’ve hit on another. Jackson missed his entire rookie season in 2016 with a torn pectoral muscle and then didn’t open 2017 as a starter. But he started the final five games, and had two impressive outings against Steelers receiver Antonio Brown that opened a lot of eyes to just how good he could be. Look for Jackson’s ability to lock down top receivers to be a big part of Cincinnati’s defense this season. I can’t wait to see him against Brown again. Their first meeting is Oct.14 at Cincinnati, and they’ll meet again in Pittsburgh in Week 17.
It is always great to see young Bengals players getting some attention since it doesn’t seem to happen too often. It seems like Jackson’s performances against Brown have been the biggest catalyst to his hype train leaving the station.
There is a good reason for that since he performed perfectly against arguably the best receiver in the NFL. It wasn’t a matter of he just contested passes, or that he got lucky with some bad throws. He put on a clinic of how to perfectly breakup passes, and he did it against Brown, twice.
Here are the stats from Pro Football Focus on his matchup with Brown from last season.
William Jackson III vs. Antonio Brown this season— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 6, 2017
We arguably should have saw more of Jackson last season. It took Adam Jones’ season being ended by injury for him to finally take over duties as a full-time perimeter corner, and he didn’t disappoint once he did.
In fact, it was probably Jackson’s great play that made them comfortable with parting ways with Jones during this offseason.
Jackson had a season full of impressive plays, whether it was intercepting Aaron Rodgers and taking it back for a touchdown, or getting beat by T.Y. Hilton but still possessing the speed to recover and break up the pass. Plays like these lead to being really excited about what could possibly be in store for his future as a Bengal.
Here are some highlights from Jackson’s first year of playing to get you excited for 2018.