Is Jackson Slated To Be “The One”??

By Bill Neri-Amadeo
Updated: April 20, 2008

LANSING, Mich. — Every year the NFL draft produces talent that will become the new face of the league. Whether it be for their break away speed, incredible catching ability or their all-around courage, NFL teams search for that one player who can take them to the promise land.

This year, there is one player who stands out among the rest, his name is DeSean Jackson. While DeSean “The One” Jackson has always been a sensational athlete, athleticism runs in his family.

His brother Byron was an outstanding college player who went on to play two years in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs. While in high school, Jackson was a major league baseball prospect as well as being a football star.

Jackson chose football because of his love for the game but he could’ve gone any number of routes in the world of sports. If there is one word to describe Jackson , that word would have to be dynamic.

He may be the best wide receiver prospect to enter the league in the last decade. When people see Jackson , they rave about his speed. While his speed is an incredible asset, Jackson is so much more than a burner, he is a leader.

While there is no question as to Jackson being the fastest player to enter this years draft (He runs a 4.35 40), he is also the most courageous wide out in this years class.

People have questioned his durability but if anyone has watched Jackson on tape, they witness a fearless athlete who loves to cross the middle. Besides being able to outrun his opponents, Jackson is a true student of the game and takes great pride in his route running.

One of the unique aspects of his game is just how many perfect crossing routes he ran during his time at the University of California .To go along with his incredible speed and fearlessness to cross the middle of the football field, Jackson is an exceptional leaper with great hands.

Jackson has been known to catch balls that were thrown in traffic and out leap opponents inside of the end zone. Many scouts have stated that Jackson is a nightmare for defenders from any place on the field. If he is at his own 20, he’ll outrun you, if he is in the Red Zone, he’ll out leap you.

Besides being an incredible wide receiver, Jackson may be an even better return man. wrote about Jackson , “He is awfully similar to Ted Ginn Jr. when he was coming out last year but is more polished as a wide out and an even better return man.”

Jackson returned six punts for touchdowns in his storied collegiate career and was voted a First Team All-American in 2007. Most scouts feel he is the best return man to enter the draft since Devin Hester was drafted out of the University of Miami in 2006.

With incredible speed, dynamic return ability and the courage needed to go across the middle and excel while doing so, the question remains, where will Jackson be drafted?

Many pundits predict he will be selected No. 12 by the Denver Broncos. If Jackson ends up playing at Mile High, he will provide a major target for Denver Quarterback Jay Cutler and may be the best Broncos receiver since Rod Smith was in his prime.

Other rumors are surfacing that the Chicago Bears may select him to revamp their offense. If this is true, the Bears will have the most dynamic kick return game the NFL has ever seen with Devin Hester to one end of the field and Jackson to the other.

Teams would be better off just kicking the ball out of bounds then risking two return men like Hester and Jackson to terrorize them. On offense, Jackson would provide the Bears that much needed go to receiver and help fill the void left by Bernard Berrian when he signed with the Minnesota Vikings this offseason.

Speaking of the Vikings, some mock drafts have Jackson going to Minnesota where he could take advantage of playing indoors and utilize his speed. If Minnesota selects Jackson , he will be coupled along with Berrian and will be the best 1-2 punch the Vikings have had since the days of Randy Moss and Cris Carter.

Other pundits have him going to Philadelphia where he could provide Donovan McNabb with a number one target and help the Eagles return game which costs the team a playoff berth last season.

The Eagles have not had a true number one receiver since Terrell Owens and with the addition of Jackson in the offensive scheme and the return game; the Eagles could once again become the class of the NFC.

The bottom line is that no matter where he ends up, Jackson is going to be a difference maker. In the receiving game, he can outrun opponents, out leap them and has the hands and the intestinal fortitude to slash across the middle and create nightmares for cornerbacks and safetys.

When it comes to being a return man, Jackson has Pro Bowl potential and will be a difference maker from day one in the league. While the NFL Draft is the ultimate guessing game, Jackson is as close to a sure thing as there has ever been and any team that overlooks the California star will be paying for it for at least the next 10 years.