Houston Texans: Measuring Up Rookie Corner Kareem Jackson

Shane KirkpatrickContributor ISeptember 27, 2010

Houston Texans: Measuring Up Rookie Corner Kareem Jackson

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    HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 12:  Wide receiver Pierre Garcon #85 of the Indianapolis Colts can't come up with the catch as cornerback Kareem Jackson #25 of the Houston Texans defends on the play during the NFL season opener at Reliant Stadium on September 12, 201
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    There has been a tone of speculation around the first-round pick of Kareem Jackson by the Houston Texans in the 2009 draft. When Jackson came out for the draft in 2010 his college coach Nick Saban told him he did not think the corner was ready, and should wait one more year before entering the draft.

    Saban may have been correct.

    With the Texans at the bottom of the barrel in pass protection, Jackson has been taking the majority of the blame for the Texans' poor pass defense over the first three games of the season.

    Here is a comparison of how Jackson stacks up against the other rookie corners taken in the first round of the 2010 draft:

    Jackson has acquired 16 tackles, three passes defended, and zero interceptions in the first three games of the season.

Joe Haden, Florida

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    TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 12:  Cornerback Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns is congratulated after breaking up a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFL season opener game at Raymond James Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Ph
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Florida’s Joe Haden was the first corner taken in the 2010 draft, and was picked up by the Cleveland Browns with the seventh pick. Haden was hailed as the best corner in the draft, and went high as a result.

    Haden has acquired eight tackles, two passes defended, and zero interceptions.

    That is half the tackles of Kareem Jackson, and one less pass defended.

Devin McCourty, Rutgers

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    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Steve Johnson #13 of  the Buffalo Bills scores a touchdown against the defense of Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    The next corner taken in the draft after Kareem Jackson was hard-hitting Rutgers corner Devin McCourty. Most NFL scouts had McCourty ranked higher then Jackson on their draft boards. He was taken at No. 27 by the New England Patriots.

    McCourty has acquired 14 tackles, one pass defended, and zero interceptions.

    That is two fewer tackles than Jackson, as well as two fewer passes defended.

Kyle Wilson, Boise State

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13:  Anquan Boldin #81 of the Baltimore Ravens goes up for a pass against Kyle Wilson #20 of the New York Jets during the Jets home opener at the New Meadowlands Stadium on September 13, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    The ball hawking corner from Boise State, Kyle Wilson, was the fourth corner taken in the draft, picked up by the New York Jets at No. 29. At times, Wilson was even higher on scouts' draft boards than Joe Haden. He has seen more time on the field than expected due to the hold out and injury of Jets corner Darrelle Revis.

    Wilson has acquired 14 tackles, three passes defended, and zero interceptions.

    That gives him two fewer tackles than Jackson, and the same amount of defended passes.

Patrick Robinson, Florida State

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    NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 02:  Patrick Robinson #34 of the New Orleans Saints makes the hit on Lavelle Hawkins #87 of the Tennessee Titans after a 5-yard gain during the first half of an exhibition game at LP Field on September 2, 2010 in Nashville, Tenne
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    The final corner drafted in the first round, picked at No. 32 by the New Orleans Saints, was Florida State's Patrick Robinson. Robinson has played in all three of the Saints' opening games, and is probably the most underrated corner in this list.

    Robinson has acquired five tackles, zero passes defended, and zero interceptions.

Dunta Robinson

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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Dunta Robinson #23 of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals at Georgia Dome on September 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    It would not be a through comparison if we did not take a look at the productivity of the corner Jackson replaced. Seventh-year veteran Dunta Robinson left the Texans this offseason in search of greener pastures.

    He signed with the Atlanta Falcons for around $27 million. He has started each of the three games this season for Atlanta.

    Robinson has acquired 12 tackles, two passes defended, and zero interceptions.

    This is four fewer tackles then Kareem Jackson, and one less pass defended.

Final Observation

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    HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 26:  Wide receiver Roy Williams #11 of the Dallas Cowboys runs away from Kareem Jackson #25 of the Houston Texans for a 63 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    It turns out that rookie Kareem Jackson leads all rookie corners in tackles, and is seventh in that category over all the rookies selected in the 2010 draft.

    His numbers appear to be better than any other rookie corner taken in the draft, and are even better than the veteran Dunta Robinson.

    What this does not show is how many times he is tested over other corners, and how opposing quarterbacks may not be throwing in the direction of the other corners.  It does not show the number of missed tackles or broken coverages.

    It is an inaccurate way to judge a corner’s performance.

    The only thing this really tells us is how much more on the job training Jackson is getting from opposing teams than the other rookie corners in the league.

    Based on this week’s loss to the Cowboys, look for more teams to test and train the rookie corner from Alabama who, supposedly, was the most NFL-ready corner in the draft.