How college football recruiting helped send Jackson to the NFL draft

A year ago, Jackson signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent, but that didn’t prevent him from being drafted by the Cleveland Browns, where he has played his entire four-year career.

A year later, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Jackson was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year, and his numbers are as impressive as ever.

Jacksonville, which was on a nine-game winning streak and reached the AFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history, has gone 16-1 this season, including a 13-0 mark this season.

Jackson, who has five interceptions, is second in the league in pass breakups (15) and fourth in sacks (24) behind only the Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Hatcher, who leads the NFL with 31.

Jackson’s 11 interceptions rank third among active NFL players, and he has more than double the sacks (19) than the other active players.

Jackson has three interceptions and four forced fumbles this season and is tied for the league lead with six interceptions on special teams.

Jackson is one of five players in the NFL to start all 16 games, and the other three are San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree, Denver’s Emmanuel Sanders and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson.

Jackson is tied with 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks for the team lead with 20 quarterback pressures.

Jackson also leads the league with a team-high 14 pass break-ups.

Jackson has seven interceptions this season; his two interceptions against Jacksonville were picked off by the Chargers’ Marcus Peters.

Jackson leads the team with a franchise-high 17 pass breakup returns for touchdowns, and Jackson is one short of his career-high of 25 touchdown returns for the Lions.

Jackson also has four of the team’s eight games this season with two or more return touchdowns.

Jackson led the NFL in sacks this season (23.5), and he leads the Lions with a league-leading 12.5 quarterback hurries per game.

Jackson had a career-best 11.5 sacks last season.

He has totaled 16.5 career sacks in his first five NFL seasons.

Jackson ranks tied for second among active players with his 14.5 fumble recoveries per game, and is one sack shy of his team-leading total of 12.

Jackson added three tackles for loss, one sack and two forced furloughs this season to help Jacksonville to its second straight playoff berth and its first-ever division title.

Jackson played his first NFL game against the Buffalo Bills in 2016.

Jackson said his goal is to play as many games as possible this season in hopes of becoming the first player in NFL history to play in four straight playoff games.

Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl after being named the league’s defensive MVP.

He is the second player in league history to be named to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Basketball Hall of Famer.

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