Red Towel Roundtable: NFL Draft

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Sep 28, 2013; Bowling Green, KY, USA; Navy Midshipmen quarterback Keenan Reynolds (19) is tackled by Western Kentucky Hilltoppers linebacker Andrew Jackson (4) during the first half at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Jackson
Fletcher: Old Hickory didn’t have as great a senior season as he did in his junior year, but he still made noise. Jackson, for some reason unknown to me, didn’t participate in the NFL Combine, which will do one of two things: 1.) Hurt him 2.) Add some mystery to him and teams will draft him just to see what happens during OTA’s and rookie camp. Jackson does a good job of plugging up the whole in the middle, but many scouts are weary of the depth in his play and his play overall in zone coverage. If a team will take a chance on him, it’ll be early, I’m gonna guess late 3rd/early 4th round, and the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins have all been noted as teams that need a body to plug up the middle.

Marcus: I think AJ will be like Dowling, either a late round pick or an non-drafted free agent. Jackson, when he played, made a great impact on the field for WKU. He has the hitting ability with his thick build and his physical strength. However his lack of ability to track down the ball which provides tackling inconsistency is a blemish that many GM’s could see in the late rounds. I also think he is still immature and needs to realize what it is going to take to play at the NFL level. However his potential to be a starter and his possibilities as a player is what could keep him secured as a late round pick.

Will: Jackson somewhat struggled under Bobby Petrino, and was even suspended for a game due to an internal team issue. By far his best game this season was the Navy game. He knocked out Keenan Reynolds, Navy’s QB, which shifted the entire game in favor of WKU. However, talent wise and finding the right system for Jackson could pay off in folds. I highly doubt any of the Hilltoppers will go in the first 3 or 4 rounds, but I believe A.J. is a solid 5th or 6th round pick. I could see him flourishing in a New Orleans Saints defense, Lions, or even a St. Louis Rams D. The Lions are in need of linebackers who can start off the bat… but that’s not Jackson. However, if he had a few years behind a Johnathon Vilma in New Orleans, he could turn out to be quite the pick up.