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Yahoo! Sports (Eric Edholm)
We had Jackson as the No. 68 overall prospect. Others had him far higher, and had he not donated bone marrow to his sister right before the season, perhaps he would have played better. We just weren't in love with him, and believe he needs lot of development.
Draft Grade: C-

NFL Network (Daniel Jeremiah) *
They’re getting a true left tackle with outstanding foot quickness and athleticism. He struggled a little bit early on in the year and got more comfortable as the year progressed. He’s only 20 years old. I don’t know that he can step on the field right now and be an impact tackle. But the upside with this kid is off the charts because of his ability to bend his knees and move. He’s an outstanding athlete.

ESPN (Louis Riddick) *
He’s unmatched in this draft at the offensive tackle position. You could say at least he’s on par with all the other top tackles in this draft. Tremendous set quickness, long arms, good punch. Tremendous recoverability. In the run game, he can play in the power scheme, can play zone schemes, can climb to the second level. He just needs to stay more consistent when he goes up against technically proficient pass rushers because he had trouble with [Iowa’s] AJ Epenesa, had a little bit of trouble with [Utah’s] Bradley Anae. This is a guy who’s best football is ahead of him, without a doubt.

RotoWorld *
This was the pick the Dolphins got from the Steelers in the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade. A two-year starter at left tackle in OC Graham Harrell's up-tempo Air Raid scheme, 20-year-old Jackson (6’5/322) earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors in his final year at USC. His 2019 tape showcases lackluster footwork and traits of a mid-round prospect, but note that Jackson donated bone marrow to his sister only two months prior to the Trojans' season opener, losing 25 pounds while recovering his hip flexibility. That could also explain why he was dominated by Iowa EDGE A.J. Epenesa in the 2019 Holiday Bowl. Fortunately, Jackson's 89th-percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism, as well as his formidable length and quickness, are reasons to be optimistic that he can develop into a quality starter in due time. Jackson may struggle in his first year out the gates but has the ceiling of a multi-year Pro-Bowler with proper development backing him. In Miami, he will have to play immediately, likely sliding in at left tackle ahead of cellar-dweller option Julie'n Davenport and next to free-agent pickup LG Ereck Flowers.

Pro Football Focus *
The excitement surrounding Miami after selecting Tua Tagovailoa is dampened a little bit here with the biggest reach of the draft so far in our eyes. Jackson comes in at 94th on the PFF Big Board, and it all comes down to his on-field production. The length and physical profile is that of a Day 1 offensive tackle, but Jackson was carved up last season by the three NFL-caliber edge defenders that he faced (Julian Okwara, Bradlee Anae and A.J. Epenesa) and managed just a 74.1 grade overall for the season. With Josh Jones still on the board, it’s hard to justify this selection.

CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) *
Grade: C-. I would have gone with Ezra Cleveland. Austin Jackson is a project. It might take a year or two for him to become the player people think he can become. I'm concerned about this pick for Miami.

Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer) *
The Dolphins got Tagovailoa to be their quarterback, so they were bound to turn their attention to protecting him soon afterward. However, this is a pick they might have been able to make in a later round, making it a bit of a reach given they passed on more bona fide elite players they need at other positions (like safety Xavier McKinney). Jackson is an impressive athlete for his size (6-5, 322 pounds), but he needs some refinement in his technique to match his quick feet.
Grade : C

Pro Football Network (Tony Pauline) *
I received a lot of grief for having Austin Jackson rated so highly, but the Dolphins agreed with me. Jackson was one of the best left tackle pass protectors in this draft and he comes with a huge upside. He needs to improve his consistency as well as his run blocking, but the Dolphins got a great prospect in Jackson.

Pro Football Network (Andrew DiCecco) *
Following the Tua selection, I mentioned it was imperative the Dolphins capitalize on a strong offensive tackle class and come away with one in the first round to protect Tagovailoa. Jackson is an immensely talented, albeit raw prospect, that is one of the more athletic tackle prospects in this class.







Jackson, a true junior in 2019, was a two-year starter at left tackle. He gets off the ball and flashes the ability to move defenders in the run game. He flashes a violent punch. He has the potential to develop into an above-average pass-blocker. He's quick and long enough to handle speed off the edge. He does an above-average job of resetting his hands and recovering. He gives ground when he doesn't win with his hands initially. He oversets and gets beaten to the inside at times. The 2019 Notre Dame tape shows the good and the bad in pass pro. -- March 2020

Pre-Draft Analysis
Jackson gets off the ball and flashes the ability to move defenders in the run game. He has a violent punch and has the potential to develop into a good pass-blocker. He's quick and long enough to handle speed off the edge. He does an above-average job of resetting his hands and recovering. Jackson is inconsistent, however, and the 2019 Notre Dame tape shows the good and the bad in pass protection. -- Steve Muench


Player Bio
Many USA Today High School All-Americans face the most important choice of their young lives when picking a school. Jackson's selection of USC was not nearly as important, however, as his decision to donate bone marrow to his younger sister in the summer of 2019. The procedure went well, and Jackson returned to the Trojans for his junior season. He started all 13 games at left tackle in 2019, garnering first-team All-Pac-12 notice for his efforts. As a freshman, Jackson played in all 14 games as a reserve and on special teams. The next season, the Phoenix, Arizona, native started all 12 games at left tackle. Jackson's grandfather, Melvin, played on the offensive line for the Trojans' 1974 national championship team and for the Green Bay Packers for five years.


  • NFL Comparison: D.J. Humphries

Early-entry tackle prospect who is raw but gifted and is likely to be coveted by a variety of teams, thanks to his true left tackle traits. Jackson has loads of athletic ability and play talent that is waiting to be developed and harvested. Inconsistent hand placement and footwork could be exploited early on if teams try and rush him into the starting lineup, but issues are correctable. He's scheme-diverse with potential guard flexibility if he improves his strength. He could become an early starter but may offer a wider split between floor and ceiling than some teams might like.


  • Outstanding athleticism on athletic frame
  • Room for additional mass and development
  • Nimble feet and quick twitch headline his athletic gifts
  • Flashes bend and initial pop as drive-blocker
  • Initial lateral steps gain ground quickly
  • Quick to second level on cutoff blocks
  • Rangy -- capable in long pulls and wide receiver screens
  • Rapid kick slide offers mirroring mechanism against speed
  • Slick splash technique to create imbalance from rushers
  • Ability to redirect against counters
  • Athleticism for above-average recovery talent
  • Can run the rusher up and around the pocket
  • Has blocked two kicks at USC and five in high school


  • Technique issues show up on tape
  • Footwork can be jumpy and undisciplined
  • Needs to improve upper body and core strength
  • Infrequent use of inside hands diminishes power
  • Lacks hand placement to sustain and steer the defender
  • Low hands can be tardy to land first
  • Too much hunching forward into punch
  • Overextends causing fluctuation in base width
  • Average body composure to handle counters


AUSTIN JACKSON | USC | OT | #73 | JR | 6047 |
322 | 1028 | 3418 | 8200 | 5.07 | Phoenix, AX | North Canyon HS |
08.11.99 | NIC | 8.0/9.2 | Rd2

Possesses long, wide, athletic frame; prototypical size—has gained over 50 pounds since arriving to USC and still has room to grow. Shows strong hands, excellent placement and
great bend. However, he can overextend himself at times and be caught out of place. A two-year starter who played special teams as a freshman. Has NFL bloodlines. Underwent an altruistic
surgical procedure during the summer of 2019, to donate bone marrow to his sister Autumn, who suffers from Diamond-Blackfan anemia. Overall, his combination of size, athleticism and
upside could make him a top 50 overall selection.

Grew up in a single-parent household with his mother Lavonna Buckhanan. Played offensive tackle and defensive end at North Canyon High in Phoenix, Arizona. He also was on
North Canyon’s track and basketball teams. Majored in political science at USC. His grandfather, Melvin Jackson, was a 1974 and 1975 letterman offensive tackle at USC. He then went on to
play 5 years (1976-80) in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers after being their 12th round pick in the 1976 Draft. Jackson returned healthy to the Trojans for his junior season after donating bone marrow to his sister in the summer of 2019.

Started all 13 games at left tackle in 2019 and 2018, garnering first-team All-Pac-12 honors. As a freshman, Jackson played in all 14 games and contributed on special teams.

How did you wind up being a bone marrow donor for your sister? My sister has a rare blood disorder which causes your body not to produce red blood cells. She's had it since she was
born. The procedure I did, the bone marrow transplant, allows her body to accept my blood cells. Thank god we were a perfect match through blood testing. That allowed her to fully restart
her system and her body is now producing red blood cells.

What did you learn from your grandfather, Melvin, who played for the Packers? It's a business. You have to show up every day, work to get better. There's some technique stuff he's
showed me, but football in the '70s is a lot different than football now. But the biggest thing he's taught me is show up every day, work hard, and make the most for yourself.

Have you stayed connected with any of the great Trojans tackles from years past? Yes. I talk to guys like Anthony Munoz who come back. He's a legend, Hall of Famer. Guys like Tyron
Smith, talked to him a couple times. Look forward to training with him this offseason. Sam Baker, another great, comes back a lot. There's a handful of them.






Austin Jackson, OT, USC

Athletic tackle who is one of the best pass protectors in this year’s draft. Quickly sets up off the snap, keeps his head on a swivel and displays good vision. Picks up stunts and blitzes, adjusts to speed rushers and effectively knocks them from their angles of attack with a strong hand punch.

Bends his knees, sets with a wide base and keeps his feet moving. Stays square and seals defenders from the action. Easily slides off the edge, makes outstanding use of angles and displays terrific lateral range. Flexible, resilient and stays with plays. Has a nasty mentality and attacks blocks.

Must improve as a run blocker. Does not get much movement and gets held up at the point by defenders. Has a tendency to fall off blocks rather than finish them.

Jackson was a terrific left tackle for the Trojans the past two seasons and displayed good athleticism during combine testing. He comes with big upside and starting potential and should only improve as he physically matures.


Austin Jackson*, OT, USC
Height: 6-5. Weight: 322. Arm: 34.13. Hand: 10.25.
40 Time: 5.07.
Projected Round (2020): 1-2.

4/21/20: In speaking to some team sources, they believe Jackson will be a first-round pick, but if offensive linemen get pushed down because of the amount of prospects, he might be an early second-round pick. Jackson had a solid combine with a fast 40 and a good workout.

Evaluators say Jackson is a great athlete with quick feet and excellent agility. He is an easy mover with the ability to bend at the knee and play with good leverage. There were times where Jackson got away with some mistakes because of his athleticism, and he will need to work on technique for the NFL. Jackson is raw from a fundamentals standpoint, and that was exposed by A.J. Epenesa in Iowa's bowl win, but Jackson's skill set is that of a franchise left tackle.

Earlier in 2019, Jackson took a leave from the Trojans in order to donate bone marrow to his younger sister, and he played extremely well after returning to the team.


Austin Jackson, Tackle, USC

Strengths: Size, effort-hustle

Weaknesses: Fluidity

Jackson is one of the feel-good stories of this year's draft: He took time off from football in the 2019 offseason to give his sister a bone-marrow transplant to correct a rare, dangerous blood disorder. Here's an ESPN video that tells the story better than we can in the space provided. Jackson told reporters at the combine that his sister was making a full recovery. "I was happy. I was excited. But most importantly I just thanked God. It was a miracle, and I was glad I could do that for my family," he said.

On the field, Jackson is a get-the-job-done type. He's big, strong and alert when reading blitzes or mirroring his defender's moves, but he's very mechanically stiff. Agile pass-rushers will be able to beat him to the inside at the NFL level, and he'll whiff at the last second on some open-field blocks.

Jackson's lack of agility could make him a liability at left tackle, but he's physical and determined enough to hold his own on the right side or serve as a quality multi-position backup. Jackson's technique is not pretty, but he's enough of a brawler to help the Dolphins.

The Dolphins allowed a league-high (tied with the Panthers) 58 sacks last season. They traded left tackle Laremy Tunsil just before the start of last season, of course, because a) they wanted to straddle the rebuilding/tanking line as tightly as possible; and b) Bill O’Brien was leaking foolishness and draft picks. But that left them with J’Marcus Webb, whom I thought retired in 2014, starting at left tackle for a while. They fielded one of the worst offensive lines I have ever seen at the start of the season, and it only got a little better as the season progressed. So Jackson fills a need. But the Dolphins have dipped into the second tier of tackle prospects. They should have tried to move up for a Tristan Wirfs or move down for more assets.

Grade: C+


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