The Eagles aren’t letting a little armed robbery and prolonged substance abuse stand in the way of their quest to finally land a safety that can actually play football. As such, the Eagles will be bringing in former Tennessee and McNeese State defensive back Janzen Jackson for a workout this week.
Jackson was emerging as one of the country’s best safeties before getthing himself kicked out of Tennessee after his sophomore season when he earned second-team All-SEC honors.
Here’s how Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley explained Jackson’s dismissal last summer:
“Our program has devoted a tremendous amount of energy, resources, support and care in an effort to help Janzen manage his personal challenges. I will always be there to help him as a person, but there comes a time when a player’s actions preclude him from the privilege of playing for the University of Tennessee football team.”
People change and it’s very possible that getting the boot from Tennessee provided the wakeup that Jackson desperately needed, but it’s certainly fair to wonder what type of personal state he’s in heading into this month’s draft.
The troubled Jackson later hooked on with McNeese State and impressed coaches and scouts with his physical play and coverage skills, but struggled with a slow 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine in February.
The National Football Post’s Wes Bunting had this to say of Jackson:
“A talented kid who can run, track the football and can be a violent striker on contact. However, isn’t the most sound of wrap-up guys, is raw with his footwork and has character concerns. Nevertheless, has the talent to play in the NFL and should get a shot because of his ability to run and strike.”
Clearly, if the Eagles go this route it will be with a mid-round pick where they hope to find a diamond in the rough.