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A Star in the Waiting: D'Qwell Jackson

Cory HolibaughCorrespondent IMay 30, 2009

Although the Cleveland Browns had an absolutely abysmal 2008 season, there were some bright things within the disappointment. One of those things being middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson.

Jackson was drafted by the Browns 34th overall in the second-round of the 2006 NFL Draft. The pick was acquired by the New Orleans Saints in a trade.

In his rookie season, Jackson started in all of the 13 games he played in, racking 93 tackles. Nothing flashy, but Jackson got the job done when the ball carrier came near him.

In his followup sophomore season, Jackson started 13 out of the 14 games he played in, leading the team with 101 tackles, and collecting one sack and one interception. Again, nothing flashy, just good football.

In his third season, the season where he started every game, Jackson thrived. He lead not only the Browns, but the entire NFL in tackles with 154. Also last season, he had an impressive three interceptions and two sacks. Nothing flashy again, just improved numbers.

If Jackson reminded me of anybody, I would have to say Aaron Curry. They are both tackle machines who play consistent hard-nose football. They aren't sack machines, but more of a coverage type linebacker.

One other thing that I agree on them be similar on is that they will get more sacks given the opportunity. Jackson didn't rack up sacks because he was never asked to. The Same goes for Curry.

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Either way, with a new and more aggressive defensive coordinator, Jackson could see more sacks. Shaun Rogers, Kamerion Wimbley, and Alex Hall (maybe David Veikune, too) are the Browns biggest sack threats. Blitz all of them including Jackson, and Jackson may be forgotten.

This new system is perfect for Jackson, and with another tackling machine in Eric Barton playing opposite him, Jackson will see more success. He should look for his first Pro Bowl next season.