Cornerback William Jackson wasn’t able to get on the field for the Bengals during his rookie season due to a torn pectoral muscle, but the 2016 first-round pick started showing why he was such a high pick by the time the 2017 season came to an end.
Jackson worked off the bench for the most part and wound up seeing action on 60 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. He limited receivers to a 34.9 percent catch rate and 151 yards in that work, which made his play better known to those in the analytics community than to the general public.
With Adam Jones off the roster, Jackson is in line for a bump in playing time alongside fellow first-rounders Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard and he believes that will boost his name recognition as well.
“I feel like I did good last year, but obviously I wasn’t a starter,” Jackson said, via Justin Williams of The Athletic. “A lot of people around the world don’t actually know about me over here. They’ll definitely know about me this year.”
The Bengals invested a lot in cornerbacks by drafting Kirkpatrick, Dennard and Jackson over a five-year span. If Jackson’s play remains at the same level in expanded time, the last of them will likely turn out to be the best.