(Editor's Note: With just one month until the start of the 2016 NFL Draft on April 28, the staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of possible Cowboys draft picks – from the top of the first round to the bottom of the talent pool. Today's featured player is University of Houston cornerback William Jackson III.)
Name: William Jackson III
Honors: Jackson was the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl MVP with a career-high 10 tackles and two interceptions in a 38-24 win over Florida State. He was named second-team All-American Athletic Conference for the second consecutive season.
Key Stat:Jackson had five interceptions in his final season at Houston (junior), but he also led the nation in pass breakups (23).
Where He's Projected:Many draft observers list Jackson in the second-round range, but with cornerback such a premium position in the NFL, it doesn't seem out of the question he could sneak into the first round as one of the top defensive backs in this year's class.
How He Helps the Cowboys: It's no secret the Cowboys have been looking at adding to their cornerback depth. They held official visits with several free agent cornerbacks and made it a priority to re-sign Mo Claiborne to a one-year deal. It remains to be seen whether Byron Jones will eventually play safety full-time, but adding another young cornerback to the mix would help facilitate that move to safety as soon as next season.
Scout's Take: Lines up as the field corner. Has to cover a lot of ground in that position. Likes to play with his hands. Is a bit of a short strider, quick feet. Is aware in zone. Understands where he needs to be and is able to play his responsibility. Will drive on the slant. Very aggressive, was beaten on the double move but able to knock the ball away. Has the ability to cut his man off in route. Will get hand inside to knock ball away. Will duck his head to tackle. Gets in trouble when this happens to him. Gets in position to play with off-hand. Can play the ball down the field. Awareness on the switch route. There are snaps where you see him guess on the route. His best trait is his ability to get his hands on passes. Does a very nice job of playing the route then putting himself in position to make the play. For some reason opponents like to throw his way but is more than up to the challenge that presents. - Bryan Broaddus[embeddedad0]