Houston Texans' Kareem Jackson Is on the Hot Seat

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistApril 10, 2012

Houston...your starting corner in 2012!
Houston...your starting corner in 2012!Rob Carr/Getty Images

All week, I'll be looking at former top draft choices who are on the hot seat with their teams. Today, Kareem Jackson of the Houston Texans is starting to squirm.

Jackson was taken with the 20th pick of the 2010 draft with the hopes that he would bolster a terrible pass defense. Instead, he was abused repeatedly his rookie year as the Texans fielded the worst pass defense in football.

While the Texans rebounded with the arrival of Wade Phillips, Jackson did not. His overall play was ragged and he was one of the 10 worst corners in football by yards per pass in 2011. Jackson was routinely targeted on deep passes, and Pro Football Focus echoed the negative evaluation by giving him a failing grade, ranking him as the worst of the Houston corners by a wide margin.

Instead of getting less playing time, however, Jackson will be getting more in 2012. Jason Allen signed with the Bengals, prompting Wade Phillips to name Jackson as the starter for next year.

Jackson doesn't do everything poorly. He is a physical tackler, and allowed the fourth fewest yards after the catch. He grades out well against the run, and might just be miscast in the Texans' defense. Jackson could go to a cover-2 and play quite well.

He's been given every chance to make an impact in the NFL, but has yet to do so. Once again, he's been handed a starting job, but if he doesn't improve quickly, he'll find his britches are burning.