Eddie Jackson’s season ended abruptly when he suffered a broken leg. He missed the end of the regular season and Alabama’s SEC title run into the College a Football Playoffs.
He waited patiently through the first two nights of the draft before hearing his name selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Jackson was chosen by the Chicago Bears with the No. 122 pick.
From Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., Jackson blossomed as a safety after a move from cornerback. He added punt returns to his resume after teammate O.J. Howard suggested it due to Jackson’s prowess in the open field on interception returns.
He played in only eight games in 2016 after breaking his leg, but was voted second-team ALL-SEC by the coaches, and was also named a permanent team captain. He totaled 24 tackles, two pass breakups and an interception.
His punt return for a score against Ole Miss helped the Crimson Tide overcome a 21-point deficit in Oxford, Miss. For the season, he averaged 23 yard per punt return.
Jackson was the 10th Alabama player drafted during the three-day event, joining (in order of selection) cornerback Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore Ravens; defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, Washington Redskins; tight end O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; linebacker Reuben Foster, San Francisco 49ers; offensive tackle Cam Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars; outside linebacker Ryan Anderson, Washington Redskins; defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants; outside linebacker Tim Williams, Baltimore Ravens; and ArDarius Stewart, New York Jets.
The 10 draftees set a record for the program in a seven-round draft. Ten UA players were selected in a 32-round draft in 1945.
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