Donte Jackson: Hall of Fame Bound OR Role Player Relegation?

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There were a lot of options available to our Panthers at Pick 55.  There was Justin Reid, Derrius Guice, Duke Dawson, Isaiah Oliver and Ronnie Harrison all that would have made sense at this point in the draft. However, Hurney 2.0 decided to go with the uber-fast Donte Jackson.  Dubbed “The Fastest Man in College Football,” Jackson certainly is an intriguing selection.  Hurney has said on multiple occasions that the team needs to get younger and faster.  With Alvin Kamara and Ted Ginn Jr. staring this team in the face two or three times per year, speed in the secondary will certainly help. 

One report by Daniel Jerimiah (who I trust) states that Jackson is not only fast and quick, but he is also rarely caught out of position.  With 4.3 speed, he also has the makeup speed capability that is rare and not something that can be coached.  Another thing that I like about this young man is his bravado.  In a post-draft interview, he stated that he wants to be a Hall of Famer.  That is what I want on this team.  Now he has to go out and prove me right.  The challenge ahead of him is his size.  Imagine him at 5’11 and 178 guarding Julio Jones and Mike Evans.  Imagine players like Zeke Elliott and Leonard Fournette running right at him.  Will he pass the test?  The answer to that will determine if he is a full-time player that can transform this defense or will relegate him to being a role player.  Can the Panthers have him on the field for 2nd and short situations?  I sincerely hope he passes the test, but only time will tell.  My advice to him is to put on about 10 to 15 pounds and to keep pounding.

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-Mel Mayock