In each of the 10 days leading up to the NFL draft, ESPNBoston.com will identify one player who projects as a solid fit for the Patriots at various points of the draft. Read all of the profiles.
Player: Kareem Jackson
Listed height/weight: 5-foot-10 1/2, 196 pounds
Scouts Inc. rank: No. 2 at cornerback (scouting report)
Draft projection: First round
Why he’s on our list: One of the more physical cornerbacks in the draft, Jackson thrived under head coach Nick Saban, who has close ties with Bill Belichick.
Recommended link: Daniel Shirley of the Macon Telegraph writes on how Jackson's decision to leave Alabama early is about to pay off.
Key stat: Jackson started 40 games over the last three seasons on the right side.
Workout stat: Surprised some scouts by running a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash.
Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.: “Jackson isn’t a great tackler and he didn’t make as many big plays as teams would prefer from a first-round corner, but he has the tools to develop into an excellent cover corner and he is a great fit for the Patriots. While he left school a year early, he was a three-year starter at Alabama, so his lack of elite experience isn’t much of a concern. He has the fluid hips, burst and speed to match up with NFL receivers in man coverage and he shows above-average instincts and range in zone coverage. In addition, we think he has the potential to develop into a playmaker and playing under head coach Nick Saban will help him transition to the NFL, especially if he lands in New England.”