With the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine right around the corner, it's time to take a look at some intriguing prospects to keep an eye on in Indianapolis.
Today, we take a quick look at Nebraska cornerback Lamar Jackson.
Jackson has flown a little under the radar during his collegiate career, mostly thanks to the struggles of the Cornhuskers during his time in Lincoln. That said, his play has been one of the few things that fans in the "Sea of Red" have had to cheer about as of late.
Jackson spent the better part of the last two seasons covering the opposing team's top receiver, week in, week out. His size (6-2, 210) allows him to play physical against big-bodied receivers who might otherwise dominate smaller corners. This becomes a significant asset in the red zone, where hand-fighting and winning jump balls are the name of the game.
Some have discussed Jackson moving to safety at the next level. Although that is a possibility, ideally he is a bit of a roaming defensive back, assigned to shut down the opposing team's No. 1 receiving target — even if that is a tight end.
From a player comparison standpoint, Jackson most resembles Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes. You won't find him assigned to cover a whole lot of shifty slot receivers, but he will be someone you can count on to neutralize the opposition's most dangerous red-zone threat.
At the Combine, scouts will want to see him run well in the 40 to confirm that he can run stride for stride with top-flight receivers. They'll also be looking for him to perform well in the agility drills.
As the wide-open passing attack continues to be the way-ahead for NFL offenses, talented cornerbacks who can be utilized in different ways are going to be at a premium. Jackson is going to get drafted — likely somewhere between the third and fifth round. His ability and physical attributes will allow him to make a name for himself — besides just being "the other" Lamar Jackson — right away.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.