Jackson looks ready to race if anyone so much as hints at a challenge. His 10.38 100-meter time in 2016 means he's probably the favorite for the Titans' fastest player.
The best way to describe Jackson on the field is an athlete. He looked like the most dangerous athlete on the field during the Titans' scrimmage Saturday night when he returned punts and kicks like an NFL veteran. Twice, he made multiple defenders miss, hitting a hole with blazing speed.
"I'm having a lot of fun. I'm just enjoying myself and doing what I know I'm capable of doing," said Jackson, who ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. "My mentality is if I get the ball, I'm trying to score."
Jackson, who scored eight return touchdowns (four kick, four punt) during his three years at USC, could end up filling both the punt and kick returner roles for the Titans this season. He was the most effective in both realms Saturday even though rookies Taywan Taylor and Khalfani Muhammad and veterans Eric Weems and Harry Douglas also got reps.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he isn't worried about handing return duties to a rookie, especially one like Jackson.
"Pretty exciting player," Mularkey said. "(Jackson) showed his speed, showed what he’s capable of doing. He’ll be a threat, just as he was in college."
Jackson was drafted, in large part, because of his versatility. He has long-term potential to be a top NFL cornerback, but he has more to learn at that position. He's already well-developed as a returner and that's the spot where he could make his biggest impact as a rookie.
The Titans were 20th in punt return average in 2016, with their longest return being 18 yards. They were 26th in kick return average and didn't score a touchdown in either return phase. Enter Jackson, who averaged 15.8 yards per punt return and scored four return touchdowns last season, to solve those woes.
“We drafted him because he was fast, but he’s faster than fast," Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said earlier this summer.
One factor to watch is if Jackson's special-teams reps are impacted by an increased role on defense. If he eventually beats out LeShaun Sims and Brice McCain for a full-time starting cornerback role, Mularkey may need a secondary return option. Either way, it's going to be hard to take a weapon like Jackson out of such an important special-teams role.