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Dequan Jackson
NFL Draft

Dequan Jackson NFL Draft 2023 Prospect Interview

  • Justin Melo
  • April 9, 2023
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Colorado State linebacker Dequan Jackson was extremely productive throughout the 2022 campaign. Jackson recorded career-highs in tackles (100) and fumbles forced (2) while also accounting for 6.0 tackles for loss. Jackson then experienced a fruitful showing at his Pro Day by running the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.65 seconds.

Jackson recently spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his Pro Day testing numbers, which teams he’s met with throughout the pre-draft process, and more.

JM: You had a big season in 2022. You totaled 100 tackles for the first time in your career. You also recorded 6.0 tackles for loss and two fumbles forced. What clicked for you this past season?

Dequan Jackson: There’s always a sense of urgency when you’re entering your senior season. I left everything on the line. I was en route to enjoying a similar season in 2021, but a late-season injury capped the tail end of my performance. I was worry-free in 2022 and it led to the type of season I knew I was capable of having. I was determined to put my best foot forward in 2022.

JM: You had a great showing at Colorado State’s Pro Day. You carried that momentum over with you. You ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds, which is an excellent time for a linebacker. How would you grade your overall performance?

Dequan Jackson: I wanted to do a little better than that (laughs). I thought it was a good showing overall. I checked a lot of boxes. Like you said, a 4.65 is a solid time in the 40. I went into my Pro Day with the mindset that I had to address questions about how fast I was going to run.

I know scouts have been watching my tape and they’re impressed with what they see, but they wanted to see me perform athletically as well. I checked some of those boxes. I ran, jumped, and flew around out there. It was a lot of fun. Everybody was satisfied with my performance. It’s setting me up nicely moving forward.

JM: Did you meet with any teams before, during, or after Pro Day? Who are some of the teams you’ve had contact with?

Dequan Jackson: A lot of teams have been contacting my agent. I had conversations with scouts from the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos after Pro Day. I’ve been getting good feedback ever since.

JM: What’s your favorite aspect of playing the linebacker position?

Dequan Jackson: I love feeling like the field general. I enjoy the pressure that comes with playing the linebacker position. I love the responsibility that it demands. I’ve played both inside and outside. I have an interchangeable skill set. I love running the defense and playing off-ball. I can run and hit. I have the versatility that you need to play linebacker.

JM: Would you say your game is more developed as a run-stopper, or in pass coverage?

Dequan Jackson: At this point in time, I’m more developed as a run-stopper. I love getting downhill, attacking my gaps, and stuffing the run. I think I have sticky man-coverage skills as well. The more I’ve played in coverage, the more I’ve developed in that area. My coaches started to realize that I could really cover as well. 

I don’t like putting limits on my game. I’m still growing as a player after all these years. I’m excited to keep taking those next steps.

JM: We’ve appreciated your time today. Why should a team use one of their draft picks on Dequan Jackson?

Dequan Jackson: A team should draft Dequan Jackson because I don’t have a ceiling as a prospect. I’ve always gotten better. I’m an extremely coachable player who loves to learn. I’m going to love my teammates and treat the organization with respect. 

I’m going to be productive. I’ve always been productive. Whenever I find that right fit, I’m going to maximize my opportunity. I just need that one team to take a chance on me. They’re going to get a lot out of me. I’m a great guy outside of being a great football player as well.

I’m going to outproduce my draft slot. I’m excited and my future team should be excited as well.

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Justin Melo