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Syracuse 2020 NFL Draft profile: Wide receiver Trishton Jackson

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Jackson looks to translate a breakout season into hearing his name called on draft night.

NFL Combine - Day 3 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

We have no idea what’s going to happen to football this fall, but regardless of whether the season actually occur or not, there’s going to be an NFL Draft later this month (even if it happens with significant videoconferencing issues).

The Syracuse Orange haven’t seen a ton of players selected in the draft lately, but that fact could change this year with four players attending the Scouting Combine. So while we didn’t love the results of this past season, getting a few more players into the NFL could be a positive conclusion that helps the program going forward, too.

Before the draft — currently scheduled for April 23-25 — we’re profiling all of the Syracuse players that warrant consideration to be picked (and some of those that appear likely to be undrafted free agent pick-ups).

Last time time out, we talked about Alton Robinson. This time:

Name: Trishton Jackson

Position: Wide receiver

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 197 lbs.

Hometown: West Bloomfield, Mich.

NFL Draft Projections: Late rounds pick — somewhere in the sixth or seventh round, depending on receiver needs

2019 Stats: Caught 66 passes for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdowns, pulling together one of SU’s better receiving seasons in program history.

Career Stats: Between his time at SU and Michigan State, he caught 86 passes for 1,282 yards and 12 scores. The 2019 season was his only season as a starter, however.

Game to Watch: Jackson had four really big games with Syracuse last year, but let’s go with the Boston College game. Against the Eagles, he caught eight balls for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Unlike some of the earlier strong performances, I think he actually shows off some of his progress over the course of the season here.

NCAA Football: Holy Cross at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting Combine Performance:

Trishton recorded a 4.5-second 40-yard dash at the combine, which was a pretty good time, and he also had a vertical leap of 36 inches. The speed is what impressed scouts then, and will likely be what leads to him being selected. It is, however, a crowded wide receiver group this year and that makes matters a little bit tougher for Jackson — and any pass-catcher looking to hear their name called.

Speed’s tougher to teach, so he’s in a good spot as a developmental option there. He also showed himself a quality route-runner who could get physical with defensive backs here and there, while operating in a variety of roles (we saw him excel as both a deep option and a slot receiver at times in 2019).

Scouts see him as a player likely to be a good backup with starter potential, so that’s another good sign for him with regard to getting drafted.

Pros

We got into some of them above. But Jackson is quick, runs routes well and can get physical here and there. He knows how to operate in both tighter spaces and the open field. Once he had a step on defenders, Trishton was really good at creating downfield separation before the ball was thrown. His versatility to play outside or in the slot make him an intriguing prospect for teams that want multiple options out of an incoming wideout. He was also very good at drawing penalties, which is an underrated skill.

Cons

When Jackson was on, he was electrifying, but he did have off-games at times and also didn’t always have the best hands. He also slows down when the ball’s coming, which invites defensive contact and unnecessarily creates battles for the ball in-air at times. He could stand to be a better blocker, since he won’t be a primary receiver when he gets to the NFL (at least initially).

Fun Fact: Jackson’s cousin is former NFL receiver Braylon Edwards, who suited up for four different NFL teams between 2005 and 2013.

TNIAAM Draft Prediction: Again, the speed’s an asset and one that will likely get him picked. Since didn’t play a ton in college, there’s also the intrigue of what his potential is within an established NFL system — that’s a double-edged sword, however, as it also creates some doubt about his production last year. Still, mock drafts seem to like what he brings to the table, and that’s enough to get him picked on day three. If he’s selected, some teams looking for a wideout there could include the Browns, Falcons, Panthers and Packers (among others).

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