It took until nearly three hours into Day 3, but the New Orleans Saints made their first pick of the day. With the 161st pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, D’Marco Jackson of Appalachian State joined Who Dat Nation.
Katherine Terrell of The Athletic provided us with some of Dane Brugler’s notes on Jackson, noting that he’ll be a backup and core special teamer.
Per The Draft Network, who lists his ideal role as a “downhill run-stopping ILB”:
"Jackson is an effective linebacker when playing inside of the tackle box but his limitations athletically start to show themselves outside of the box. Jackson is an instinctual linebacker that has some limitations athletically but should be able to be an effective linebacker in the NFL."
Another big thing here is that he was a team captain with the Mountaineers, which is obviously a big plus for the Saints. Luke Johnson also mentions how Jackson was the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year.
Saints select D’Marco Jackson with 161st pick
Jackson racked up a whopping 119 tackles last year while also tallying 20 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, five defended passes, one interception, and one forced fumble through 14 games at Applachian State in 2021. The dude put up insane numbers and now he’ll be joining a linebacker room that needs to find a replacement for Kwon Alexander.
This pick shows that the Saints might not feel good about bringing Alexander back but they’re getting a solid run-stopper with Jackson. Another weird trend they’ve had in this draft is selecting older prospects, as Jackson will be 24 when the 2022 season kicks off.
It’s hard not to like this pick though. The Saints could use help at linebacker and Jackson’s freakish numbers from the 2021 season should make him a good fit in this solid defense. NOLA has Demario Davis and Pete Werner as the starting linebackers but the more depth, the merrier.
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What are your thoughts on this selection, Saints fans?