With the 61st pick in the NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers picked DL Drake Jackson out of USC, making this the sixth time in the last eight drafts that their first pick has been a defensive lineman, with Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch using their first pick at the position in the four of the last six drafts.
San Francisco did not have a first-round pick, Jackson kicked things off, so to speak.
While at USC, Jackson played 27 games, recording 103 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. One would assume that the 49ers hope that Jackson will become a regular starter opposite pass rusher Nick Bosa. Jackson is eager to learn from and play with his new teammate.
“He’s literally a gremlin,” Jackson said of his new teammate. “He’s a monster. He puts fear in the linemen’s eyes.”
During his Draft visit with the 49ers, Jackson spent time with 49ers defensive line coach, Kris Kocurek, who is known for his spirited coaching style and getting the most out of his players.
“I love to play for a coach that’s fired up like that, who wants a lot out of his guys,” Jackson said. “It’s a challenge, and I’m willing to take on that challenge. I want to be happy and I want to make him happy as well…Can’t wait to get to it with a legendary coach like that.”
After losing D.J. Jones and Arden Key in free agency, and as they will be moving on from Dee Ford, Jackson should be an integral part of the defensive front.