Chicago Bears: Eddie Jackson already turning into a star at safety

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Jackson’s past as a corner increases versatility

Obviously, Jackson’s exploits as a rangy safety have already had a huge impact on the Chicago Bears defense. But recently, we’ve started seeing another part of his game that can make him a star at the position: his ability to man up on tight ends.

Here he is in the Minnesota game again isolated on Rudolph on second-and-11 in the fourth quarter. This is just straight Cover-1, man-to-man with Amos over the top.

Jackson’s stellar instincts kick in again as he runs the out route right along with Rudolph, then undercuts the throw and bats it away. Sure, the throw could’ve been better from Keenum, but that’s still a great play by the rookie on a pass-catching tight end.

No doubt, Jackson’s past as a cornerback at Alabama likely helps him plenty in that regard. In fact, he started at corner in the first two years of his college career before switching to safety as a junior. That position immediately suited him well, as he promptly put together an All-American campaign that year.

And his versatility allows the Chicago Bears to use him in ways that they can’t use any other safety on the roster. He might not quite be big enough to cover the Rob Gronkowskis of the world, but he’s a logical choice to handle one-on-one assignments with good receiving tight ends when the need arises.

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Jackson’s only about halfway through his rookie season, but his play has already changed the Chicago Bears. And as he keeps settling in, his own turnovers will start to come.

If he keeps this up, he’ll easily land on this year’s NFL All-Rookie team and perhaps more.