Cory's Corner: Josh Jackson Is Feeling Pressure

The 45th pick in 2018 isn't just fighting for playing time anymore. 

The moment Josh Jackson was drafted, I was giddy. 

Here was a guy that was No. 1 in the nation at passes defended at the University of Iowa in 2017 and No. 2 at interception return yardage. The Packers then took him in the second round (45th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

The reason I was so excited was because the Packers were ranked 31 of 32 teams when it came to pass coverage that season. Cornerbacks Quinten Rollins (94 percent), Josh Hawkins (67 percent), Davon House (63 percent) and Damarious Randall (62 percent) allowed a reception percentage over 60 percent in 2017. 

The obvious move was to take a dynamic corner that wouldn’t just flip the field, but flip the game as well. It was Jackson that turned the game completely sideways against No. 5 Ohio State. He picked off J.T. Barrett three times as he single handedly lifted the Hawkeyes to a 31-point win. 

There was a good reason why Jackson earned the Tatum-Woodson Award as the Big Ten’s best defensive back. And thus, it all made sense why the Packers picked him to fix Green Bay’s squeaky wheel. And early on, Jackson defended 10 passes as a rookie in 10 starts. 

It appeared like he was going to not only carve out a spot on this team, but a niche with the Packers faithful. 

However, that didn’t happen. I’m no longer electrified about what Jackson can do or bring. He is currently on the Packers roster by the hair of his teeth and there’s a decent chance he doesn’t make it out of camp this summer. 

There are many that are pleading for the Packers to trade Jackson, but what the heck are you going to get for him? You’re not going to get much value from a guy that didn’t log a single postseason snap last year. 

You can call this the yips, a mental block or just bad play. But whatever you call it, Jackson easily has the most pressure of any Packers player heading into training camp. First of all, there’s the production argument, but secondly there’s the dollars to deal with. If the Packers cut Jackson, they can save $1.3 million. 

But this isn’t about saving $1.3 million. Because what are the Packers going to do with that? It’s not like they are going to go get a linebacker or another wideout with that. This is about production and trust. The Packers cannot trust Jackson to be on the field and if that’s the case, they are going to eventually ask themselves why he’s even on the roster. 

Jackson, 25, is nearly out of time. Is he going to answer the bell this summer?

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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2 points

Comments (38)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
stockholder's picture

June 29, 2021 at 06:53 am

With all the CBs Gute has selected. You might as well cut him. Give the guy a chance someplace else. Bank the mil. And hopefully the packers don't draft a Rollins, House, Jackson, or Randall again. The improvement just doesn't come fast enough, or stay. And then there's the biggest fear; we call Regression. Jackson needs to get out of Green Bay. This secondary is about speed. And Jackson just doesn't have the after burners to fit in.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

June 29, 2021 at 09:19 pm

Josh was playing injured last year.

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Razer's picture

June 29, 2021 at 08:00 am

I too wanted Josh Jackson to be the answer at CB but his game didn't translate and speed/quickness may be the fatal flaw. I would consider also that he is now on his third DC and defensive philosophy. Maybe Johnny Gray can get something out of him or maybe his game would better fit safety. Either way, the assessment that time is running out for Jackson rings true.

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nostradanus's picture

June 29, 2021 at 08:44 am

Yeah I feel bad for Josh but he’s obviously lost confidence in himself and has lost the confidence of his coaching staff.
He seems to have the size and physical makeup to play zone corner however:
*he doesn’t play special teams
*he’s too grabby as an outside corner
*he’s not quick enough for slot
*hes not physical enough for safety
*he’s paid way too much (with the Packers so tight with the salary cap) to be a 6th corner
*the Packers brought King back at 5 million instead of giving Jackson a shot, what does that tell us?
* Unless an injury occurs, Josh Jackson’s time has run out in GB

8 points
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Stroh's picture

June 29, 2021 at 12:53 pm

His time in GB should have run out 2 yrs ago. Should have traded him after his 1st season. It was obvious then he didn't cut it in the NFL.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 30, 2021 at 10:48 pm

Not a Pro Player. Move him out,like yesterday.

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dobber's picture

June 29, 2021 at 08:44 am

Jackson was used almost exclusively on the boundary last year, and the fact that he couldn't carve out a key role on special teams to keep himself active when he wasn't playing on D is more than troubling. Pettine seemed much more interested in playing Redmond and Greene (and later Henry Black) than playing a 4th CB last season. Jackson had his detractors when drafted...he was a love him or hate him prospect that was rated all over the draftniks' boards. He came into the league with limited CB reps, but that's hardly an excuse after 3 years. Can he still turn it around? Sure...I'm not banking on it, though (and it appears that the Packers aren't either), and at this stage he would almost be a lottery ticket if he did.

3 points
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PatrickGB's picture

June 29, 2021 at 09:46 am

Ugh, I hate mixed metaphors. “By the skin of your teeth” or “By just a hair”. Aside from that it’s a very good article. I too have been wondering what happened to Jackson. My best guess is that he doesn’t have the speed at the NFL level and so he resorted to grabbing. I guess he got by with it in college but not at this level. At one time I wondered if he might be a better fit at safety yet the team must not think so. I wish him well.

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Stroh's picture

June 29, 2021 at 12:57 pm

He's about the same speed at Marcus Peters. His speed is marginal, but his ability to backpedal, to flip his hims to change directions are all well below NFL standards. So he loses a step or more every time a WR changes directions, then he doesn't have the make up speed. And he gets grabby because he can't change directions. Marcus Peters is extremely smooth and efficiient, Jackson is a fish out of water!

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

June 30, 2021 at 10:50 pm

He cannot read, or anticipate.

1 points
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Stroh's picture

July 02, 2021 at 08:18 pm

He's supposed to be really good in zone isn't he? reading and anticipating are what zone coverages rely on.

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x24's picture

June 29, 2021 at 10:17 am

You came close, but you never made it, and if you were gonna make it, you would have made it before now...

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Since'61's picture

June 29, 2021 at 10:23 am

Jackson is an excellent example of why the NFL draft is a crapshoot. His college numbers indicated that he would be a solid NFL CB at least. However he has floundered at the NFL level and unless something unexpected happens I doubt that he will make it to the final roster this season. The Packers should give a shot to another promising rookie or young player rather than trying to salvage Jackson.

It's always unfortunate to give up on a young player but after 3 seasons what can we expect to change? Time to move on. Thanks, Since '61

5 points
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Johnblood27's picture

June 29, 2021 at 09:45 pm

so, you think it's time to chuck him?

4 points
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Since'61's picture

June 29, 2021 at 09:51 pm

I would have chucked him at the end of the 2020 season. But here we are. Thanks, Since '61

3 points
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HarryHodag's picture

June 29, 2021 at 10:38 am

Why waste a roster spot on an under producer?

6 points
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flackcatcher's picture

June 29, 2021 at 11:15 am

Well, his injury did set him back a year, and the Packers seemed unwilling to play him on ST. The other major factor is the style change in the secondary last year. The Packers boundaries were playing off coverage exclusively with mirror and trail to keep hand checks to a minimum. Game officials seem to focus in on the tight coverage the Packers CB play, unlike Tampa for example. Playing off coverage wiped out a lot of the PI calls last year, and both Alexander and King were adept in closing the route. Jackson, not so much.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 29, 2021 at 11:42 am

He’s the primary backup CB. If King or Alexander is injured, he’s a starter

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 30, 2021 at 10:56 pm

The guy was Inactive the last four games. A two pick who cannot even fill the dime spot. No Instincts for the position, clueless on the initial read. Time to move on from him and Sullivan will also be under the big lens in the sky. Depth? King is compromised and should n't even be on the playing field for the CH game and this guy is again Inactive. I like Stokes and Jaire to set the perimeter and maybe the rookie takes the nickel spot; after that all bets are off.

2 points
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Stroh's picture

July 02, 2021 at 08:20 pm

Not anymore! That now is Stoke's job. Without even a consideration. No way they go to Jackson.

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Stroh's picture

June 29, 2021 at 03:53 pm

That's BS. Packers actually played quite a bit of zone. probably little more man, but either way he's a bust! Don't give me injury garbage. He doesn't even rate as a ST player.

4 points
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

June 29, 2021 at 11:26 am

I was right with you on the Josh Jackson pick and remember some of the talk of taking him in the first round and many of us were elated when we got him in the second and it almost felt like we had two first round picks that year.
The main negative in the draft was the lack of speed, but Micha Hyde who we let go and made the pro bowl with Buffalo was no speed burner with a 40 time of 4.56, so it shows you can be successful with less than burner speed.
At this point I think most of us Packer fans are about as confident that Jackson be a starter for the Packers as a man in a hole looking down.

3 points
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wildbill's picture

June 29, 2021 at 07:49 pm

Except Hyde is a safety and Jackson is supposed to be a corner back. Apples and oranges

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

June 30, 2021 at 09:56 am

You make a valid point and I think many of us thought that Jackson should have been playing safety. However, I do believe the Packers did look at that possibility and it didn't come to fruition. We also drafted Damarious Randall in the first round who was a safety in college and had him play out of position at cornerback. When we traded him to the Browns for Kizer, the Browns moved Randall to his natural position of safety and he played much better and in his second year Randall notched a career-high 85 tackles and picked off four passes. We could have hoped for something similar for Jackson, but it appears it isn't in the books.

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

June 30, 2021 at 11:00 pm

Hyde played nickel for Dom. He was moved to his natural position of safety in Buffalo. Another whiff by von low ball and the esteemed FO.

1 points
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Stroh's picture

July 02, 2021 at 08:22 pm

And Hyde is 10X more physical and willing to tackle a RB or WR. Jackson's a wimp and afraid to hit. No physicality whatsoever!

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

June 29, 2021 at 11:36 am

Yes, we have so many experienced CBs that we should just cut Jackson and replace him with somebody who has never played in the league. That’s exactly the way to build depth.

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egbertsouse's picture

June 29, 2021 at 12:06 pm

You’re right. The way to build depth is to hang on to stiffs way past their expiration date and then play undrafted practice squad guys during the playoffs while your “depth” sits his butt on the bench and doesn’t play a snap. Yeah, man!

6 points
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Stroh's picture

June 29, 2021 at 03:55 pm

At least that UDFA might develop. Jackson hasn't and isn't going to at this point. Cut Bait Now. Not even worth as a camp body. We know what he is...

1 points
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Since'61's picture

June 29, 2021 at 09:59 pm

He's had 3 seasons and he's given us nothing. Whatever experience he has isn't doing anything for him or the team. we couldn't use him in the playoffs so what's the point?

And yes, if a rookie without experience is better than Jackson then we play him over Jackson. We played Alexander as a rookie and that has worked out very well. I would be willing to play Stokes over Jackson. We should have chucked him already. Thanks, Since '61

3 points
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Stroh's picture

July 02, 2021 at 08:24 pm

Replaced Jackson the minute they drafted Stokes. That's already a done deal. Jackson will be lucky to make the 53 and I personally would cut bait now and give an udfa a chance to impress.

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Stroh's picture

July 02, 2021 at 08:24 pm

Replaced Jackson the minute they drafted Stokes. That's already a done deal. Jackson will be lucky to make the 53 and I personally would cut bait now and give an udfa a chance to impress.

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Lphill's picture

June 29, 2021 at 11:48 am

Probably wasn’t coached up properly on the Packers , will probably be a pro bowler on another team with the proper coaching,

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Stroh's picture

June 29, 2021 at 12:39 pm

So you were impressed by all the INT's that JT Barrett and Hornibroken threw to him? I wasn't! He made a living against the QB deprived Big 10 and 2 turnover machines. He had 5 INT' and 2 TD against those two. What's impressive about that?

I was down on Jackson before the drafted him. Alot of Packers fans here were begging for him! If you watch his highlites some reasons to be encouraged, but taking into acct who they were against, not so impressive. But most fans like the writer probably only watched highlites. I didn't care about them, I saw them, but didn't care.

Once I saw his drills at the combine I was praying the Packers didn't select him! Wanted no part of him! He was terrible is backpedal and even worse flipping his hip. COD was ok but probably borderline NFL. I didn't give a damn about his times in drills, only positional drills. I knew he was a bust waiting to happed. Don't pay attention to highlites, pay attention to some times in drills. But especially pay attention to position drills.

1 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

June 29, 2021 at 12:57 pm

Highlights are an addiction to many here, and a hard habit to break.

1 points
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Stroh's picture

June 29, 2021 at 03:57 pm

Its LAZY, that's all.

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Nerd's picture

July 02, 2021 at 10:25 am

It's fashionable to be down on Jackson. He did just fine last year. Better than King, that's for sure.

Pettine had his own "guys" that he liked. Maybe they want Jackson to prepare harder, spend more time in the film room or something. Dude can get it done.

-2 points
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Stroh's picture

July 02, 2021 at 08:27 pm

That's insane. Just NO!!

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