Monday, August 16, 2010

Put up or shut up: Lawrence Jackson

First round draft picks are supposed to be immediate, impact starters on your team in the NFL. Players are often considered "busts" if they are just mediocre starters. The bar is high. For the Seahawks 2008 1st round pick, DE Lawrence Jackson, mediocre would be an improvement.

Jackson has done very little to distinguish himself in the time that he's been a Seahawk. He hasn't been stout against the run. He hasn't been a pass rusher. He had a brief 3-4 game sprint at the start of last season when he registered a handful of sacks, but it hardly registered as a blip on the radar.

Now, we see his former coach take over the reigns of the Hawks. This certainly has to be Jackson's last stand, right? If anyone is going to get the most out of Jackson, you would think it would be the guy who coached him at his peak value in college.

Instead, all we've seen is Jackson sitting out due to a mysterious hamstring injury for the entire camp. No practices. No games. No heart.

It doesn't happen often, but this may be a situation where a 1st-round pick does not make the cut two years after being drafted. EJ Wilson looked great on the goal line this weekend, and may be a viable stout DE. Chris Clemons, Nick Reed, and Ricky Foley may all be better pass rushers than Jackson. Red Bryant has all but sealed the other starting DE position.

You need to ask yourself, if you're Pete Carroll or John Schneider, has Jackson really shown you enough to keep him over another player on the roster? Cameron Morrah is great example of a guy who is having a great camp, but is likely the 4th TE when teams generally keep three. Do you cut a guy like that loose for the sake of keeping Jackson?

Compete, Lawrence. Compete.

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