Alabama in the Pros

Eddie Jackson grades out as PFF’s best safety for 2018

DENNIS WIERZBICKI - USA TODAY SPORTS

He could not have scripted his second season in the National Football League to go any better than what took place. For former University of Alabama star, Eddie Jackson, he is one of the primary reasons for the Chicago Bears winning an NFC North title for the first time since 2010. 

A fourth-round pick of the 2017 draft, he fell to the Bears at pick 112 and had guided the league’s most dominant defense to the playoffs. Behind Jackson, Chicago leads the NFL in scoring defense (17.7 ppg) while being third in total defense – allowing 299.7 yards a game. 

RELATED: Eddie Jackson already looks like a starting NFL safety

The 6-foot, 202-pound safety led a secondary that gave up the lowest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks (72.9) and forced 27 interceptions. As for his individual numbers, Jackson is tied for second in the league with six interceptions and 15 pass breakups.

He chimes in with 51 total tackles, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and three touchdowns. 

His efforts not only have the Bears at the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs, but it also earned him the highest rating for a safety via Pro Football Focus. Jackson graded out at 93.2: a mark higher than Jamal Adams of the New York Jets, Anthony Harris of Minnesota Vikings, Kevin Byard of the Tennessee Titans, and Derwin James of the Los Angeles Chargers. 

While the Bears have not won the Super Bowl since 1985, Jackson intends on leading the franchise back to the Promised Land. Chicago will battle the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Soldier Field to open up Wildcard Weekend.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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