Carolina Panthers: Donte Jackson in prime position for monster year

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Donte Jackson
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Donte Jackson /

Jackson should be  a vital piece of the Carolina Panthers defense.

Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson should have a great year. However, by the standards he set last season, he should be in for a down year. It would be his own fault if he did, but it’s not because he will be playing poorly.

Jackson performed well enough last season that he will now have the ability to take away an entire side of the football field. For him, it will be the right side of the football field that he probably won’t have to worry too much about come the fall. Recording four overall interceptions, and defending five passes, opposing offenses learned pretty quickly that Jackson was not someone they wanted to test in coverage. It was truly fascinating to watch a rookie command that much respect.

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I could see an increase in his interception numbers, as offenses will still try to throw his way. Hopefully, he will make them pay. I’m not saying he will be as good as this comparison, but I could see him having a Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman-type of effect on a game. We have already seen Jackson exhibit traits that make an effective quarterback. For one, when he is on the field, he makes the entire secondary better. The swagger he emulates is contagious, and he is a throwback trash-talking type of player.

It will be important for him to avoid the sophomore slump in 2019. For a defensive player, the slumps aren’t as easy to recognize, but I don’t think that will be a problem for Jackson. If anything, he just has to take what he has learned from this past season and continue to build on it. I’ll be interested to see how he does during training camp with a full year of professional football under his belt. If he can continue the same type of upward trajectory that he started on in the 2018 season, he should be in for another monster year.

Statistically, what should we expect from Jackson. For one, I think he will still lead the Carolina Panthers in interceptions. My guess is he will have at least six to his name. He had 74 tackles last year, and I could see that number going down. I would say 67 would be a good number. It wouldn’t be for his lack of skill, just for the fact that he will probably focus more on  being a cover corner.

Either way, he should have a great year. He should be able to be a vital part of the Carolina Panthers secondary once again. His physicality and nose for the football should suit him well once again. I just hope the rest of the Carolina Panthers defense can play as well as he is projected to.