The Seahawks announced they have released Cliff Avril with a failed physical designation. Avril lost half of the 2017 season to a back injury which reportedly could keep him from returning to the field.
Then again, two Pro Football Hall of Fame QBs, Terry Bradshaw and Jim Kelly, didn’t score much higher (15) than Jackson did. Plus, Jackson admits he can’t catch anything more than a shotgun snap. And just to deter any teams that did envision moving him to receiver, Jackson refused to run the 40-yard dash for NFL scouts. He did say the best time he ever logged was 4.34 seconds — and that was while dealing with a bout of turf toe.
As for any on-field passing flaws that need correcting, Jackson spent extensive pre-draft time with his quarterbacks coach Joshua Harris in South Florida doing “figure-eight” drills and “a lot of throwing outside the pocket” trying to improve his mechanics.
“They say I can’t throw — my elbow stays dropped and stuff like that — and I had a narrow base coming out of college,” Jackson said. “I’ve been working on that a lot and keeping my legs shoulder-width apart when I’m throwing, stepping up in the pocket or just getting out of it.”
Ex-Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik says the work won’t stop there in the NFL.
The one position of need for the Jaguars happens to present a few players who should be available late in the first round of the draft. The player Jacksonville should be looking at most is Vander Esch. The former Broncos linebacker is hailed as one of the top prospects at his position, and rightly so. For a linebacker, his size-speed combination (6-4, 254 pounds, 4.65 40-yard dash) is otherworldly. His quickness and awareness will be an asset to an NFL defense.
Another route the Jaguars could go is tight end, a position at which they should have their pick of the litter and go with Mike Gesicki out of Penn State. Gesicki is another player whose athleticism is off the charts. He’s the kind of pass-catching tight end most teams dream of having; a player who can create matchup nightmares all over the field. His blocking needs work, but as far as a being a weapon goes, he has it covered and then some.
Brothers were selected in the same opening round for the first time: Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds to Buffalo and older sibling Terrell, a Hokies defensive back, to Pittsburgh. The Steelers’ pick was announced by linebacker Ryan Shazier, who suffered a severe back injury last season and underwent surgery on Dec. 6. Shazier limped slowly on stage with help, drawing loud applause from the audience.