The difference between a good cornerback and a bad cornerback depends on that player’s ability in coverage. That will be the ultimate test of Jackson’s worth, but his skill with the ball in his hands is a bonus that could also act as a safeguard.
Even if he doesn’t become the starting cornerback, Jackson’s abilities as a returner are a good Plan B. During his time at USC, he took four punt returns back for touchdowns and had four kick return touchdowns.
He was so good with the ball in his hands that the Trojans found ways to use him on offense. He scored another six touchdowns on 39 career receptions.
Jackson will almost certainly be a returner in the NFL, but the Titans could even look to use him similarly to how USC did.
He also scored as a defensive back too, with one pick-six at USC. Despite a size disadvantage against most receivers he faced, Jackson tallied 19 pass breakups and six interceptions in three years.
One of the most veteran players on Ohio State’s offense during the 2016 season, he was a critical piece in keeping the team productive after such a mass exodus of talent to the NFL following the 2015 season. Head coach Urban Meyer often claimed having Elflein back was invaluable, both on the field and in the locker room.
“You have to be the confident leader on that line when you’re at center. Not just knowing the offense yourself or knowing the defense you’re going against, you have to portray your confidence throughout the line to make everyone else feel confident,” he said at the combine.
Elflein was named a captain during the spring and proceeded to work tirelessly to excel at a new — and incredibly important — position and unite a young offensive line. Moving to center allowed the Buckeye to have a bigger presence among his teammates, which allowed for a deeper understanding of the offensive unit as a whole.