by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Texas A&M, Defensive Tackle, McKinnley Jackson
Name- McKinnley Jackson
Pos- Defensive Tackle
Team- Texas A&M
HT/WT- 6’2” 325 lbs.
Home – Lucedale, MS
Jackson played at George County High School where he was an Army All-American and named Mississippi’s Mr. Football 6A. He was a 4-star recruit according to all three national recruiting outlets and the No. 1 player out of the state of Mississippi.
In 2020 as a freshman, McKinnley Jackson played in 10 games, making 1 start. He earned SEC All-Freshman team honors after compiling 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks. During his sophomore season, he played in 10 games, starting 4 and tallied 14 tackles and a sack.
In 2022, Jackson was named a team captain and played in 8 games, including 7 starts and finished 2nd on the team with 7.0 tackles for loss. In 2023, Jackson has 27 tackles and 3 sacks in 12 games for the Aggies.
Jackson has a compact build and is tough for offensive linemen to engage with based on his size. He has a good burst off of snaps and gets through the inside of blockers swiftly while using his strong hands to shed and move. He is forceful with his penetration through gaps and consistently pushes offensive linemen into the backfield. He excels at providing pressure on the quarterback up the middle and uses his big hands to block passes when the throws are being made. He plays with a good low base and anchors the middle of the defensive line well.
Jackson does not have elite level athleticism and is sluggish when chasing down backs from the opposite side. Though he has strong hands, he is often slow in his original contact and lets the offensive linemen get into his chest early. He can beat you through the gaps but lacks the moves to beat you on your outside shoulder. His footwork can be slow at times and once he is moving, he tends to play too upright.
A good pro comparison to McKinley Jackson is 2021 3rd round pick Alim McNeill from N.C. State. Both are good at penetration and act as space eaters, making it difficult for offensive linemen to reach the second level to block linebackers.
Inside gap penetration
No outside moves
McKinnley Jackson is molded more like the defensive tackles in the 1990’s, being able to be a run stopper and creating freedom for his linebackers. The NFL may not be as high on a player like Jackson, but still need him.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - Round 4