Lance Zierlein of NFL.com is the latest major media member to release a mock of the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft and after previously having the Pittsburgh Steelers drafting Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch with the 25th overall selection in round-one, he now has them taking Houston cornerback William Jackson III in his latest offering.
Zierlein writes of his selection for the Steelers:
Let’s see, size (check). Speed (check). Ball skills (check). Pittsburgh needs immediate cover help and Jackson’s combine has him on the radar for every team.
Interesting enough, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told the media a few days ago that he will be in Houston on Thursday for the school’s annual pro day in order to watch Jackson go through his workout. Jackson, who measured in at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at 6003, 189-pounds, reportedly ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash while in Indianapolis. While he isn’t likely to run the 40 again at his pro day, Jackson is expected to vertical jump on Thursday in addition to doing the short-shuttle and 3-cone drills being as he chose not to do those at the combine. He’s also expected to go through position drills.
Last season, Jackson registered 43 total tackles, 5 interceptions and 23 passes defensed, according to ESPN.com. According to numbers compiled by STATS, Jackson was targeted 100 times last season and gave up 43 receptions with 3 of those ending up as touchdowns.
Since right before the combine took place, it’s been speculated that Jackson could hear his name called during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. When it comes to the Steelers possibly drafting Jackson in the first round, not only would it be rarity because of the organization having not drafted a cornerback in the first round since 1997, they also haven’t drafted a player in round-one that hasn’t played for a school that participated in one of the Power 5 conferences since 2004 when they selected quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
It will be interesting to see if the Steelers bring Jackson to Pittsburgh for a pre-draft visit in April.