Drake Jackson: 3 reasons why 49ers top draft pick breaks out immediately

Defensive lineman Drake Jackson #99 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Defensive lineman Drake Jackson #99 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /
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The 49ers stayed put in Round 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft and grabbed EDGE Drake Jackson, and here’s why he breaks out immediately during his rookie season.

Despite rumors of a “Godfather” trade offer by the New York Jets for wide receiver Deebo Samuel leading into day one of the 2022 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers front office held strong and stayed put until the second round. They not only erased all doubt Samuel was WR1 moving forward, but they were also finally able to address the pass-rushing need that will soon be vacated by defensive end Dee Ford.

With pick No. 61 overall in the 2022 draft, the Niners selected USC EDGE Drake Jackson. He joins a fierce, young defense that posted fifth overall last season in pass-rush win rate, according to ESPN.

The former Trojan brings tremendous upside and an incredibly fast first step to a defense that could use just that. He figures to start opposite defensive end Nick Bosa, giving defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans his own set of pass-rushing bookends. The move also frees up defensive tackle Arik Armstead to play inside where he absolutely thrives.

Jackson the perfect fit for a pass rush that didn’t need much. So good, in fact, general manager John Lynch almost traded up to acquire him. It’s a great addition on the surface, but let’s give it our due diligence and dig a little deeper.

Here are three reasons why the 49ers rookie breaks out immediately.