Tha Sports Junkies 101

Safety Eddie Jackson Drafted By Bears To Bolster Secondary

Eddie Jackson The Crimson White via Flickr


Eddie Jackson, S, Selected 112th Overall By The Chicago Bears

In a deal made with the Los Angeles Rams, the Chicago Bears moved up five spots in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft to bolster their secondary by selecting Eddie Jackson with the 112th overall pick. Chicago gave up a sixth-round pick, 197th overall, to Los Angeles to acquire the former Crimson Tide safety.

Jackson is a native of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida where he attended Boyd H. Anderson High School. Eddie played both defensive back and wide receiver during his time as a Cobra. He registered 37 receptions for 792 yards on offense as a senior. In addition, he racked up 66 tackles and five interceptions on defense.

Both ESPN and 247Sports viewed Eddie as a four-star prospect. and rated him the 48th wideout while ESPN listed him as the No. 54 wide receiver. Jackson ranked 157th in the Top247, No. 14 athlete in the 247Composite, and 21st in the state of Florida by 247Sports. The outlet listed him as their number five athlete.

Ultimately, Jackson chose to attend the University of Alabama over LSU, Florida State, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

University of Alabama Crimson Tide


Eddie Jackson began his Crimson Tide football career as a cornerback in 2013. As a true freshman, he appeared in seven games with four starts. Following the Tide’s matchup with Arkansas, the Alabama coaching staff made Jackson the Special Teams Player of the Week. He had 19 tackles and one interception on the season.


Alabama coaching staff intended for Jackson to be the starting cornerback in his sophomore season, however, he tore his ACL during spring practice. On September 6, 2014, Eddie was able to return to action and started ten of the eleven games he appeared in. He earned Alabama Defensive Player of the Week honors twice, after the FAU and Mississippi games. The 2014 season concluded with 41 tackles, one sack, and an interception for Jackson.


Prior to the start of his junior season, Eddie made the move from cornerback to safety. After a smooth transition, he was able to excel in his new position. Playing in all 15 games, Jackson led the Tide with six interceptions — two returned for touchdowns — to go along with the 46 tackles he racked up at the starting safety position. Accumulating 230 return yards on his interceptions, Eddie shattered the all-time record (163) previously set by Hootie Ingram in 1952. While Ingram’s yardage came over ten interceptions, Jackson’s came across six, which tied for seventh-most nationally and made him the SEC leader in interceptions.

Jackson’s 2015 season brought several accolades. He was a two-time defensive player of the week by the Alabama coaching staff as well as FWAA National Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts at Texas A&M. Eddie also earned second-team All-America honors from the FWAA and Walter Camp. In addition, the conference coaches and the Associated Press selected him to the All-SEC First Team. The Associated Press also named him a third-team All-American.


For the 2016 season, Eddie became one of the Crimson Tide’s permanent team captains. In Alabama’s game against Texas A&M, Jackson suffered a season-ending leg injury. Despite playing in only eight games as a senior, he earned second-team All-SEC honors from the conference coaches. USA Today, ESPN, and CBS named Jackson Midseason All-American. In addition, Eddie was named SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Week after the Ole Miss game.

His senior season came to a close with 24 tackles and an interception. Jackson owns the Crimson Tide record for interception return yards, 303 yards over nine picks.

Player Analysis


The six-foot, 201-pounder has good, solid athleticism for his position and has the speed and length necessary for playing centerfield. Although Eddie is not a speed merchant, he does possess the instincts and range to play over the top. As a converted cornerback who also played wide receiver in high school, he has the versatility to play man coverage as well as the ability to cover tight ends along with the occasional slot receiver.

Jackson does have great ball skills. He catches the ball out in front of him, and his tracking, timing, and hands allow him to take the ball away whenever he gets a chance. When he can intercept the ball, he shows good return skills as well. As a matter of fact, his background as a returner makes him more of a dangerous weapon after interceptions than the average safety. Returning two of eleven punts for scores at Alabama is an excellent indication of the value that Eddie will add as a punt returner in the NFL.


Tackling is an area where Eddie Jackson will need improvement. He is a “grab and drag” tackler who often goes too high on players or is out of control. Long and lanky, he is not built for a physical pounding and lacks the strength to bring players down with bad technique. By the same token, Eddie will do what he has to against the run, but he is a shy hitter and does not want to stick his nose in on a hit. For this reason, Jackson missed 16 of his 112 tackling attempts during his final three years with the Crimson Tide.

Occasionally losing track of his deep ball responsibility also seems to be a bit of a problem for Jackson. He tends to wait for the receiver to make his break rather than reading the quarterback at the top of his dropback. It is obvious that Eddie is still adapting to playing in space. Furthermore, he needs to work on improving his angles.

A Few Words From The New Chicago Bears Safety

Following his selection by the Chicago Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft, a conference call was held for Jackson to speak with the media. Eddie told reporters that while he was thrilled to receive the news, he had been sleeping when Bears general manager Ryan Pace called him.

“This is something you dream about since you’re a little kid, playing in the NFL. It’s a wonderful feeling, a wonderful feeling.”

During his college career, Jackson scored three touchdowns on interception returns, 50 yards, 93 yards, and 55 yards respectively.

“When I get the ball in my hands, I feel like I turn into a receiver. Honestly, I don’t think about going out of bounds or think about going down. I think about touchdowns. That’s one thing that helped me and a couple guys on the team. We think about touchdowns in the secondary. We don’t want to go down. We don’t want to go out of bounds. We want to score.”

Punt Returning

Last year, Eddie began returning punts for the first time in his career. He was able to score touchdowns on returns of 85 yards and 79 yards.

“I like playing punt return. I had been asking my coaches to give me a chance to do it since I had been there. They didn’t think I knew how to play it at first, but when they finally gave me the chance, it worked out for the best.”

Jackson also mentioned that he believes the Bears intend to use him for that purpose.

“I have gotten some indications from the Bears. They told me they liked me as a returner. It’s one of the things they want to try me at or see how well I do. I’m just ready to come in and compete and work and take advantage of every opportunity that’s given to me.”


While at Alabama, Eddie suffered two major injuries, a torn ACL in April 2014 and a broken leg on October 22, 2016. As a result of that injury, he was unable to participate in the 2017 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

“It was frustrating, being on top for a while and then you go out with a leg injury, especially coming back after the season I had my junior year. When you’re doing good and get things taken away from you, you lose everything.”

According to Jackson, his family, friends, and coaches are what got him through.

“At that moment, I was at a low point in my life. But I had family and friends, my teammates and coaches really kept me up, kept me motivated. And also the fans. The Alabama fans always kept me motivated. Big ups go to my girlfriend. She stood by me through thick and thin, along with my family and friends.”

He credits his dad for his ability to fight through it.

“It was just frustrating, but I had to fight through it. My dad always taught me to overcome adversity, which I’ve been going through my whole life. I just felt like nothing was going to hold me down. I knew what I had to do. I knew where I came from and I knew what I didn’t want to go back to. That just kept me going.”

His Future

In regards to his injuries and his expectations for his future with the Chicago Bears, Eddie does not expect to be hindered.

“I’m fine right now. I’m healthy and I’ll be ready to go by training camp. Last year it was frustrating. I went down with an injury. It’s something I can’t control. But I’m just ready to get there and work with the training staff at the Bears. I know I’m going to be ready for training camp 100 percent, no limitations.”

In Conclusion

You can check out a few of Eddie Jackson’s top plays in this highlight reel from the website of the Chicago Bears.

Eddie also has a message for the Bears fans.

If you liked the post on this page, you could donate to support a continuous effort from our creative writers. Your small donation will make a difference. You can learn more about this writer below:

I’m a single mom working to follow her dream as a sports journalist. Currently, I’m the head of the NFL department for TSJ Sports. When I’m not editing other writers’ pieces or trying to put together new projects for my writers, I cover the Baltimore Ravens. Additionally, I support autism awareness as my 11-year-old son is on the spectrum, and I teach him from home through online schooling. Your support is much appreciated to help me progress on my journey.

Any donations made to support a writer go directly to the writer, NOT the site. Your contributions are exclusive to helping the journey of aspiring writers.


Buy Me a Coffee at