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Old 02-19-2013   #26
CloakNNNdagger
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Default Re: Vance Joseph on DBs

Found this Nov. 2010 piece pretty interesting in the context of "NFL ready" and this discussion.

Quote:
Cutting Corners: The Kareem Jackson Pick in Hindsight

But after the past couple of drafts, many are starting to wonder if they were smart in 2006, or just lucky. These are the same guys who drafted Amobi Okoye, Duane Brown and the new whipping boy of Battle Red nation, Kareem Jackson. And these were just the first round picks. We’ve debated wildly over the Amobi pick many times over, so I won’t rehash that here, and if you’ve read anything that Rivers has written, you can’t really argue about the many failings of Duane Brown. What I want to spotlight today is looking at the Kareem Jackson pick in hindsight and who Houston passed on to take him. It all begins after the jump…

You can look back at the 2007 and 2008 drafts and see some of the Pro Bowl players Houston missed out on, but I want to focus on the 2010 draft. Before the draft even began, most were on the "Best Corner Available at #20" bandwagon. Even though there were about 17 articles here on BRB about why we should draft a fat ass lineman and they made a lot of sense, we all knew that wasn't going to happen with a Bill Kollar scheme.

So, with the focus on the secondary, and mainly the cornerback position with the departure of Dunta Robinson, the wish lists all came out. Some were fathomable, while others were beyond a pipe dream, like some believing that Joe Haden would drop to #20 because of a poor pro day. There was plenty of first round talent corners and with the 17 teams in front of Houston (the 49ers and Seahawks both had two picks in the first round) seemingly having more pressing needs, there should be a steal waiting at #20.

After Haden was selected by Cleveland and Ryan Mathews (who John McClain was CERTAIN Houston would pick) went off the board to San Diego, there was still some good talent on the board. When Seattle crushed the hearts of the UT faithful on BRB by taking Safety Earl Thomas, all eyes turned to Boise State standout CB Kyle Wilson (who was who I had personally campaigned for) and Rutgers CB Devin McCourty. Either would be a huge upgrade for the Texans' weak secondary and a relative steal at #20. And it appeared one of them would be a Texan when Houston went on the clock with both still there. We all know what happened next...

"With the 20th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Houston selects Kareem Jackson, Cornerback, Alabama."

This was met with immediate shock on the draft thread here on BRB. Who?!?! That was the immediate reaction. The guy was projected to be a second-rounder at best. I even recall seeing some that had him slipping to the early third round. It was a real head scratcher, for sure. Perhaps not a "reach" by definition, but a "reach" in the opinions of many.

To be honest, the fallout didn't last that long. It quickly turned to statements like "Well, he played in the SEC" and "Smithiak knows what they're doing." But after eight games in the NFL, Kareem Jackson looks like an undrafted free agent. He is good to get burned at least once or twice on a big play every single game, and he's picked on by opposing quarterbacks all game long. This has led many to label the youngster a bust.

Personally, I'm not there...yet. He is definitely a project and he shouldn't be starting, that's for sure. Do I think he'll be a great corner someday? Probably not. Will he be an NFL caliber corner? Probably. Someday. My problem with the pick is that you don't take a project guy at #20 overall, especially when there were more NFL ready corners available at that spot.

It isn't like Frank Bush's defensive scheme is helping Jackson any, but at some point you have to at least show some flashes of why you were a first round selection and the second corner taken overall in a very stacked draft. Sure, he has two interceptions and that is more than Dunta has done in Atlanta, but those are attributed more to bad throws by opposing QBs after taking a big hit. Plus, Kareem's tackling has been just beyond poor. There was a play in the game yesterday where he got turned around twice in pursuit of a ball carrier and let a 10 yard gain turn into about a 40 yard gain. He just flat out looked drunk on the play and it made me want to get (even more) drunk myself.
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