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Pete Carroll names standout of camp
It's not who you might think, 6/8/2023
Earlier Thursday, I opened a survey asking who the most “overlooked” Seahawks player is this offseason. By DEFINITION then the correct answer is someone who I overlooked and this afternoon, Pete Carroll may have given us a clear winner:
Cornerback Mike Jackson.
Carroll spoke to the media on Thursday after Seattle’s mandatory minicamp wrapped up for this year and per ESPN’s Brady Henderson, noted that Mike Jackson had the best camp of anyone and was “dominant” at either left or right corner.
Jackson, a fifth round pick of the Dallas Cowboys out of Miami in 2019, is entering his third season with the Seahawks after starting all 17 games opposite of Tariq Woolen in 2022. He finished with 75 tackles, one interception, 12 passes defensed, six missed tackles (per Pro-Football-Reference), and opposing QBs went 48-of-86 for 488 yards and two touchdowns in his direction, which amounts to a rating of 75.1 and 5.7 yards per target.
By comparison, Woolen’s stats against: 34-of-66, 419 yards, 3 TD, 6 INT, 48.7 rating, 51.5% completions, 6.3 yards per target. Throws against Woolen were also three yards longer, on average.
That may make it seem like Woolen and Jackson weren’t that close, but Woolen’s passer rating against was first in the NFL and Jackson still ranked top-25 among all cornerbacks.
Jackson’s potential breakout in minicamp comes at the perfect time, as Woolen was injured, Devon Witherspoon entered camp with a hamstring issue, and Carroll noted that Coby Bryant has a toe injury. If all players are healthy, it seems as though the probably starting three would be Woolen and Jackson on the outside with Witherspoon, who was working in the slot at times in camp, on the inside.
That makes for a deep group of defensive backs waiting for their turn to get on the field, especially if Jamal Adams returns at any point ever, including Bryant, Tre Brown, Jerrick Reed II, Artie Burns, and wherever Julian Love is slotted.
"The fact that we drafted a guy, that sends everybody's alert up. I think when Tariq stepped out, Mike looked like he said, ‘I’ve got to do my stuff here. I’ve got to take over a little bit here,’ and he did,” Carroll said. “He's had a fantastic offseason of work. He's just been on his game, and you can see the experience. … He seems like a seasoned veteran to us. He can feel it, and he's taking a really good leadership role out here.”
At 26, Jackson is practically only a year or two older than some of Seattle’s rookies. Given another season starting at outside cornerback without any glaring issues, he won’t come at a discount again in 2024. Nor will he be overlooked.
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