Houston cornerback William Jackson III is coming off a strong pro day and is keeping the ball rolling in the days leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft. The standout corner elevated his play on the field, and his offseason performances have matched up nicely.
His impressive past year has earned him a lot more visibility in the eyes of NFL scouts and analysts, and teams seem to be getting more and more serious about signing the Cougars' star corner, starting with the Miami Dolphins.
Houston corner William Jackson visiting Miami Dolphins today, according to a source— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 29, 2016
Plus, Jackson has gained more and more recognition in the eyes of NFL analysts, such as Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson, who mocked Jackson as the 13th pick in the first round, appropriately heading to the Dolphins.
This piece of news and analysis has quickly put Jackson in the forefront of defensive prospects, and the importance put on the corner position in the NFL has no doubt made any potential first-round option a source of discussion and hype.
However, the most interesting part of the past day has been the continued linking to the Dolphins. The Dolphins are certainly a big-name team in the NFL, but the more important aspect of it is that Miami would be a near-perfect fit for Jackson.
The departure of CB Brent Grimes created an opening at corner for the Dolphins, and the glaring hole at corner will likely provoke them to address the need at their 13th pick in the first round.
Until his pro day, Jackson's draft stock was subject to a lot of variance, depending on the analyst or scout. However, he impressed enough that it almost certainly put Jackson's at the fringe of the first round, and Miami's need may allow him to go higher than anyone would've thought weeks ago.
First and foremost, Jackson would be an instant starter. While the acquisition of Byron Maxwell certainly brought some star power to the Dolphins secondary, he needs a partner, and a playmaking, frame-fitting prospect like Jackson would likely fit right in.
While Maxwell has showed he's not quite the elite player he appeared to be in Pete Carroll's system with the Seattle Seahawks, he's certainly talented enough to hold his own, especially when he has exceptional talent to pair with.
Jackson could learn a lot early in his career with Maxwell as a mentor. Jackson will make mistakes, but his nose for the ball will likely make him a player that can at least deliver big plays on occasion in his rookie year.
It's not often that players get to find a situation that fits them quite like Jackson has with Miami, and it may end up getting him picked in the first half in the first round. He'll be the first player selected from Houston since 2013, when another standout corner, D.J. Hayden, was selected 12th overall by the Oakland Raiders.