At least, that was the assumption.
Jackson, who elected not to get an agent after declaring for the draft, was one of the most explosive offensive weapons in college football as both a runner and passer, which led to one Heisman Trophy and an incredible accumulation of total yards from scrimmage (13,175) and touchdowns (119). He rushed for more yards in college than Adrian Peterson, Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliot, among others.
So why isn’t he running the 40-yard dash? Jackson skipped the exercise at the NFL combine and then announced he’d skip it again at his pro day. He waited to make that announcement until the day of his pro day.
Another interesting development came to light on Jackson’s pro day. NFL teams have struggled to set up meetings with Jackson, according to NFL Media’s Mike Mayock.
Jackson may not be maximizing the pre-draft process.
Jackson’s decision not to run the 40 may be a reaction to the suggestion he could move to receiver in the NFL. But if true, that would be an overreaction. Mobility and elusiveness are valuable traits for quarterbacks in the NFL where defensive linemen and linebackers are only getting more athletic. Michael Vick and Andrew Luck are two quarterbacks who benefitted from speed in the NFL. And in the case of Vick, who has compared Jackson to himself, speed was paramount in becoming the No. 1 overall pick.
Jackson isn’t in consideration for the No. 1 pick. He’s considered a fringe first-round prospect. But at a time when quarterbacks are typically shooting up the draft board — much like this year when some speculate quarterbacks could go in each of the top four picks — Jackson’s draft stock appears to be at a standstill.
Is that because he doesn’t have an agent?
There is the off chance that he is a silent assassin, sneaking up draft boards because teams are content not talking about him. NFL teams obviously operate well beyond what’s appearing in mock drafts. But if you take Jackson’s situation at face value, it’s clear: he should be enjoying more pre-draft success.