The Chargers sent waves through the NFL this past offseason with the addition of cornerback J.C. Jackson in free agency.
A Pro Bowler and Second-Team All-Pro selection in 2021, Jackson has turned into one of the best corners in the game. If you ask David Carr, however, Jackson is not just that, but the best in the game.
In anticipation of NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2022", the NFL Media analyst put out his list of the top 10 cornerbacks heading into this season. Atop of the list was Jackson, who's knack for the football gave him the edge over the other corners on Carr's list.
The former Patriot is a physical corner who plays the ball tremendously well (league-high 24 takeaways since 2019). He's the type of player quarterbacks are terrified to throw toward because even if a receiver has a step on Jackson, he's still not open.
With 17 interceptions in the last two seasons, Jackson has made quarterbacks are well-aware of where he is on the field. Not only does he create turnovers, but he also recorded a career-high 23 passes defended in 2021, which also led the league. As Carr pointed out, his physical nature mixed with his ballhawk ability is what puts him atop his list. Jackson's numbers back him up, and Carr believes he will be a big plus for the Chargers in 2022.
Of the players with a minimum of 100 targets in coverage since 2019, Jackson has allowed a league-low 46.3 passer rating with no other such player allowing a sub-60 passer rating in that span, per Pro Football Focus. He'll provide a big boost to a Chargers unit that ranked 29th in scoring defense in 2021.
Jackson has come into the Bolts secondary and been a huge positive from the jump. Early through training camp, it's been clear to other players what he brings to the team and why he is worthy of the top cornerback spot.
"A lot of energy. I'm sure you guys can feel it out there," Chargers safety Nasir Adderley said about Jackson's impact. "He's already coming in here and making big-time plays, being a leader and going up there stepping up in 1-on-1s. I love playing with him."
As Jackson has alluded to in training camp, playing with the pass rush of Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack could help elevate his game even further in 2022. A big year from Jackson coupled with the expectations for the team could make him a consensus pick of the top cornerback in the NFL.
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