One of the top cornerbacks in this year's NFL Draft class, William Jackson was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 24 overall pick. Jackson, a JUCO transfer to Houston, was a two-year starter with the team and is one of the few cornerbacks considered NFL-ready. However, he was overshadowed by bigger names like Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves in the pre-draft process.
But Jackson is a legitimate cornerback and has more than his fair share of supporters. Some even suggested he could be the best cornerback in the 2016 NFL Draft, as Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus suggested in February. Jackson doesn't make all of the flashy plays, but he takes wide receivers out of the game for lengthy periods.
His physicality and aggressiveness rarely go against him, and when he takes chances he picks the right moments. He does get grabby at times and that could lead to penalties at the next level, but he usually keeps it controlled.
Jackson is capable in both zone and press coverage, and isn't easily looked off by quarterbacks. His reaction time is among the best of any cornerback prospect in recent years and he could quickly become one of the league's top cornerbacks if he successfully makes the transition to the NFL.
There are only a few knocks with his game at this point. Some scouts question whether Jackson has the short-line speed to keep up with the speediest receivers the NFL has to offer, and it's a fair question that can only be answered when he finds his way onto the field and faces one of them. Jackson could also work on his anticipation, as he does a lot more reacting than preempting and NFL receivers are a completely different beast than what he's used to facing.
Of course, reacting has worked well for him in the past. He almost gets beat at first on the play above but doesn't lose sight of where it's going and doesn't allow the receiver to get behind him for a big gain. He stays with the play and it works out well for him.
Jackson was a second-team All-AAC player in both 2014 and 2015, his junior and senior seasons, respectively. He started 12 games for the Cougars last season, and led the nation with 23 pass breakups. That was also a Houston single-season record. He also had five interceptions and was the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Defensive MVP.
There aren't any personality concerns, either. Speaking at his pro day, Jackson was excited to see that Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was there to see him perform.
"For the head coach to come down here, that's a big deal," Jackson said, via the Houston Chronicle. "I was like, 'Wow, they're here to see me.' It was crazy, I never thought I'd be in that predicament."
Jackson comes with few concerns, few weaknesses, plenty of high-level college tape, versatility and a whole lot of upside.