We are less than a week away from the first training camp practice, and Green Bay Packers corner Josh Jackson has to be feeling the pressure. The former second-round pick is entering year four and tucked away on a crowded depth chart. All hope is not lost, but Jackson’s opportunities will be dwindling by the day as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.
Jackson’s time in Green Bay hit an all-time low after he was a healthy scratch at the end of last season. Over the years, the Packers provided Jackson with a number of chances to show something that would warrant more playing time. Unfortunately, his signs of development have been mild at best.
After eight interceptions during his final season at Iowa, Jackson is still waiting for his first career pick in the NFL. Needless to say, those same ball skills he displayed in college have not translated to the next level.
It doesn’t help that when Jackson does get his chances, his aggressiveness leads him to grab opposing receivers only to draw a penalty. Consequently, coaches have grown more and more distrustful of throwing him out onto the field.
Five of his 15 career starts came in 2021 after regular starter Kevin King suffered a quad injury. Even though Jackson’s play was solid, he was quickly replaced by King once he was healthy enough to return. When Jackson failed to bring any value to special teams, Green Bay saw no reason to activate him on gameday.
Jackson now has a cleaner slater with a new defensive coordinator following three years under Mike Pettine. Perhaps Joe Barry will find spots where Jackson can be successful, or maybe a parting of ways is inevitable.
The Packers selected two corners in this year’s draft, and both have a lot of upsides. Jackson could easily find himself buried on the depth chart once again if he doesn’t show real improvement. His best shot of making the team is consistently making plays in practice and the preseason. Even then, it will be hard for him to see the field during the regular season unless injuries afford him more opportunities.
Of course, there are a number of possible outcomes when it comes to Jackson’s future in Green Bay. However, Jackson’s career to this point has been nothing short of a disappointment, and now a lot is riding on what could be his final training camp on the team that drafted him with a top 50 pick.
Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.