The Chicago Bears took Alabama S Eddie Jackson in the fourth round.
After the Chicago Bears traded back in the second round to acquire more picks, they moved up a few selections in the fourth round (112 overall) to select Alabama’s Eddie Jackson. Jackson is a talented safety that figures to push Adrian Amos for a starting position immediately and also could be the team’s punt returner in 2017.
More from Bear Goggles On
- Franchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFL
- How the Chicago Bears can control the running back market in 2023
- The Chicago Bears can own the city of Chicago moving forward
- Chicago Bears NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback
- 7 best free agent tackle options for Chicago Bears
Jackson may have been as high as a second round pick if he came out after his junior season, but he decided to return to Alabama for his senior season. Jackson suffered a broken leg on a punt midseason and missed the month of November, as well as the team’s postseason games. Jackson also suffered a torn ACL in 2014 so he has been officially labeled as “injury prone.”
Jackson is a converted corner that excelled at the safety position at Alabama. He tracks the ball well and puts himself in good position for interceptions and he also covers well, both receivers and tight ends.
Jackson has a thin frame and isn’t great in the run game, his strengths should be far more in the passing game than against the run but he isn’t afraid to come up and tackle. If Jackson is as good as his statistics show, he’s a fourth round steal. Scouts wonder, however, if the massive talent around him on defense allowed him to be a forgotten man and make some big plays thanks to the others around him, rather than of his own skill.
Jackson’s biggest question mark has to be his health. A torn ACL and a broken leg both at the collegiate level is nothing to sneeze at. When you consider all the injuries the Bears have dealt with of late, adding another draft pick that may not be able to stay on the field could be a questionable move.
Ryan Pace has to also really like Jackson’s ability as a punt returner. He’s scored multiple touchdowns on special teams and definitely has the ability to break a big play on a punt. The Bears haven’t really had anyone with that type of ability since Devin Hester departed, and the team could sorely use someone who can give the offense a short field after a big return.
But durability aside, when guys like Marlon Humphrey, Reuben Foster and Jonathan Allen garnered all the headlines on defense, Jackson also made as many big plays as they did for Alabama but ended up out of the headlines most of the time. If he’s healthy, Jackson will push Amos for the starting position this season. Overall, this has to be considered a solid value pick for the Bears this late in the draft.