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Bolts Select Northwestern Running Back Justin Jackson

With their final pick in the draft, the Los Angeles Chargers selected Northwestern running back Justin Jackson with the 251st overall pick.

Stay tuned for more about Jackson throughout the night, including an exclusive first interview with the newest Charger, initial reaction from General Manager Tom Telesco, film breakdown and more.

For now, here's his profile courtesy of

Justin Jackson
Height: 6-0
Weight: 199 pounds

One of the most successful high school running backs in Illinois history (6,531 yards, 85 touchdowns), Jackson has also made his way into the record books in his collegiate career. He started five of 12 games as a true freshman, but led the Wildcats in rushing each week, finishing with 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns on 245 carries (22 catches, 201 yards, one touchdown receiving) to earn honorable mention All-Big Ten notice from league coaches. Jackson was a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2015, racking up 1,418 yards and five scores on 312 carries (ranked third in the FBS), along with 21 catches and 162 yards as a receiver. Jackson's workload abated a bit in 2016, but he still carried the rock 226 times for 1,300 yards and 12 scores -- and caught 33 passes for 210 yards -- in a second-team all-conference junior season by coaches. He topped off the year with a 224-yard, three-score effort against Pitt in the Pinstripe Bowl where he showed off his quickness, vision, and efficient running style. The leading rusher in Northwestern history became the ninth player in NCAA history to have four years with 1,000 yards. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection with 287 carries for 1,311 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing along with 44 catches for 276 receiving yards. Justin's older brother, Phil, was a running back at Northwest Missouri State from 2012-2016.


  • Unorthodox running style creates early indecisiveness in tacklers
  • Has decent initial burst when he has a clear track to follow
  • Slippery, flexible upper body is able to contort around interior tacklers
  • Has some decent maneuverability in tight quarters to find hidden yardage in a crowd
  • Able to gather feet and sink hips for sharp, downhill cuts
  • Looks natural stringing jump-cuts together when he finds a rhythm
  • Lateral cuts can be sudden and elongated for greater escapes
  • Plays with toughness
  • Has quickness and tools to become a more dangerous route-runner out of the backfield
  • Elusiveness can help him turn a four-yard dump pass into a third-and-long conversion
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