Drake Jackson NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Detroit Lions OL

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 2, 2021

American Team offensive lineman Drake Jackson of Kentucky (76) pass protects during the first half of the NCAA college football Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)
Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

 6'1 7/8"



—Stocky, compact build with good natural leverage and a spring in his first step

—Solid play strength and stopping power with a physical, stout playing style 

—Very good initial quickness out of his stance to beat defenders to the spot and establish quick leverage

—Strong, active hands to create initial torque and pin defensive linemen (0-2i techniques) on zone concepts

—Crafty in the number of ways he can secure a block; using his hands, forearms and shoulders to create displacement

—Quarterbacks the offensive line by making all of the line calls and shows starter-level command pre-snap


—Significantly undersized in terms of height, weight, girth and length

—Adequate athletic ability and range on screens and deeper climbs to the second/third levels

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—Will struggle to press and widen defenders who knock down his hands and get to his edge quickly 

—Lacks the explosive power to consistently move hulking nose tackles off the ball on angle-drive blocks 

—Catches blocks at the second level and will get pressed and stacked quickly against linebackers


—11 starts at center

—Team captain


—Invited and participated in the 2021 Senior Bowl. Suffered a grade-one sprain of his AC joint on the second play and finished the game

—47 career game appearances with 44 consecutive starts at center

—Graduated in December of 2020 with his master’s degree in Kinesiology 

—Four-star recruit ranked as the nation’s second-best center by 247Sports

—Father Brian played football at Purdue and his brother is a center at North Texas


Jackson is a four-year starter and team captain in 2020 who exudes starter-level competitive toughness, smarts and craftiness to function inside a zone-based run scheme where he can focus on creating lateral displacement on defenders.

Jackson is considerably undersized to the point of being a potential liability against top competition in the NFL, but he has the natural leverage, use of hands and initial quickness to compete for a spot in-between a strong guard pairing who can help protect his edges in pass protection.

GRADE: 6.8/10 (Round 6)




Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn

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