USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson will forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL draft. He was one of the most electric players in college football during his three-year tenure with the Trojans. Jackson waited until right up to the Jan. 16 deadline to declare for early entry into the draft, but most expected he would come out after a very good junior season. He’s the third USC underclassmen to enter the draft, joining receiver Smith Schuster and guard Damien Mama.
An AFC South area scout went on record to predict Jackson’s draft stock. “I didn’t expect him to have the year he did in coverage. I saw ball skills and coverage ability that I didn’t see last year. Those interceptions and return touchdowns will push him into the early second round. That’s my guess.”
Although he took a step back from the offensive side of the ball as a junior, Jackson combined for 37 receptions, 552 yards and five touchdowns as a pass-catcher in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Coming off the most productive season of his collegiate career from a defensive perspective, the unanimous All-American registered 55 total tackles, five interceptions and a forced fumble. Jackson is proven to be both a capable receiver and an elite return man.
Jackson is one of the most gifted athletes to declare for this year’s draft. Last year, he sat out spring football practice as he attempted to qualify for the Rio Olympics as a long jumper. He ended up 10th at the U.S. track and field Olympic trials; three spots shy of clinching a trip to his first Olympics.
In addition to a 2016 Rose Bowl Championship, Jackson will be leaving USC with an armful of accolades. He was a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. The award is named after legendary former USC and NFL defensive back Ronnie Lott. IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
He also won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back, and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
If drafted into the right system, scouts believe Adoree’ Jackson has the talent and work ethic that will allow him to make a name for himself playing on Sundays next year.