With the 27th pick in the 6th round (203rd overall), the Colts drafted Western Kentucky inside linebacker Andrew Jackson. Jackson was medically excused from the combine in Indianapolis, but he ran a 4.90 40, 7.28 second 3-cone drill, and had 25 bench reps at his pro day back in March.
Jackson missed a start, then missed a full game due to a suspension for a violation of team rules (per his draft profile) last year but still managed 95 tackles in 10 games last year. Before that, he had been WKU’s leading tackler as a sophomore and a junior.
More from Jackson’s NFL.com draft profile:
Strengths: Thickly built, especially through his trunk and lower body. Has ideal bulk to fit inside a 3-4. Physically strong tackler when hes able to square up and wrap. Intense, confident and competitive. Did not look out of place when WKU stepped up in competition. Productive three-year starter. Very good lateral agility displayed in 4.24-second 20-yard shuttle time at his pro day.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal length. Thick, tight hips and heavy legs. Average eyes and instincts. Needs to improve hand use and shed ability. Lacks speed to track down ball carriers on the perimeter. Leaves some production on the field — inconsistent tackler. Man-coverage limitations. Does not project as a core special-teams player. Is immature and needs to learn what it means to be professional. Weight tends to fluctuate.
Draft Projection: Rounds 5-6
Bottom Line: A stout, physical, downhill thumper with eventual-starter potential inside a 3-4 front where he’s protected and able to attack the ball. However, suspect character and work ethic make him a risky investment, and he’d be best served in a locker room with a strong veteran presence. -Nolan Nawrocki
Players with off the field issues are becoming more common in the later rounds for the Colts. They can be a gamble. Often, to get more talent in the later rounds, you go for someone with teachable issues, but sometimes guys fall due to character problems. A second chance player can be a real steal if they get on the right track, but as always, it’s up to the player.
For now, we’ll have to see what this “downhill thumper” can do. Let’s go to the tape. There isn’t much from last year, so here are some Jackson highlights from 2012 (I am not responsible for the music):
Jackson versus Alabama (also 2012):
And six seconds of Jackson laying a hit on a Kentucky running back: