49ers roster: Drake Jackson in a perfect context his rookie year

Linebacker Drake Jackson #99 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Linebacker Drake Jackson #99 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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The 49ers made USC EDGE Drake Jackson their top pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, but he won’t have to automatically deliver his rookie season.

In 2017, the San Francisco 49ers used their first pick of that year’s NFL Draft to grab former Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas at No. 3 overall.

Two years later, the Niners made EDGE Nick Bosa the No. 2 overall selection in that particular draft.

Both of those players had one thing in common: They were expected to be high-impact players right out of the gate for head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. One succeeded, Bosa, while Thomas failed to live up to his draft stock and was off the roster after four so-so seasons.

San Francisco’s top pick from the 2022 NFL Draft, former USC EDGE Drake Jackson, does not fall into that category.

A big part of this is the fact the 49ers didn’t select Jackson until late in Round 2, No. 61 overall, meaning he won’t carry the pressure of being a first-round pick, let alone someone selected in the top five.

Additionally, as is the case with Bosa on the roster, the Niners already have a stacked and talented defensive line, meaning they can be patient with Jackson, a player many view as having tremendous potential but in need of some serious polish to be a high-impact talent at the NFL level.

As such, Jackson enters a great situation as a rookie, still carrying high-profile attention and interest but not having the need to deliver right out of the gate.

Let’s take some stock value of the rookie’s upcoming context in 2022.