D’Marco Jackson was a very effective 4-3 linebacker in the Sun Belt conference for his run defending and natural instincts. Jackson’s cousin, Maurice Morris, played running back for the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks. He grew up on his family farm and enjoys riding horses. On the football field, he’s been the heart of the Mountaineers defense over the last couple of years.
Jackson is a little bit on the small side, which does affect his projection. He projects as a situational linebacker who can fit both three and four linebacker schemes as the base package sub who rotates with the nickel defender. I don’t think Jackson will make much of an impact his first year or two in the league, but Jackson has the ability to become a low-end starter in that role specifically.
On-Ball LB – #52 Appalachian State
Year: Redshirt Junior
High School: Broome (Spartanburg, SC)
HS Rating: 2 star (0.7642)
Phil Steele: PS#348
D’Marco Jackson Scouting Report
Very average speed and athleticism for the NFL level. Does flash good burst through gaps. His upper body is built and looks strong. Jackson has some pure brute power when it comes to busting ball carriers. Very strong player. Doesn’t have a consistent wrap-up tackle. Missed 21 tackles in 2020. Will try to push ball carriers over in the open field. Plays well inside the box, though. Really want to see more strength in this regard.
Struggles to effectively bring down running backs without surrendering a lot of space. Simply struggles to wrap up and get ahold of the ball carrier. Does come downhill with force, though. Very solid hit power. Vicious contact. Can be very close to being short in his angles at times, feels like those will be tackles that he will miss at the next level. Really want to see him get more consistent with taking the proper angle.
Times his blitzes well, but I don’t believe that he has the athletic ability to really cash in effectively. Does flash good burst through gaps. Plays relatively well in space. Tends to recognize the play. Typically found near the football. Smart defender. Positions himself very well.
What we want to see from D’Marco Jackson in Mobile
- One of the biggest things that linebackers are asked to do now is provide adequate pass coverage underneath, taking away running backs and tight ends. Can he impact that in any way? He’s going to have a good cast to go up against, can he overcome his lack of size?
- Linebackers, like running backs, struggle to separate at all-star games. What NFL teams are typically looking for from the position is for players to stand out athletically. Can Jackson do that?
Pre-Senior Bowl Projection
Linebackers are difficult positions to fill nowadays, just because of all of the things that they are asked to do. It’s very difficult to find guys that can do it all, and when you do, that player is getting picked very early.
In the case of D’Marco Jackson, we don’t see him being much of an impact in pass coverage. The NFL is a pass-happy league, which makes this one of the more important traits. Therefore, we see Jackson as a seventh-round/priority free agent prospect at this point of the process.