Austin Jackson

Dolphins, Austin Jackson Agree To Terms

The Dolphins agreed to terms with the second of their three first-round picks. Tackle Austin Jackson signed his rookie deal, Field Yates of tweets.

This unusual offseason has seen teams drag their feet on rookie agreements, but the Dolphins are barreling ahead. They have signed both Jackson and Tua Tagovailoa and also agreed to terms with second-round pick Raekwon Davis. Jackson is only the third 2020 first-rounder to sign, joining Tagovailoa and Panthers defensive lineman Derrick Brown.

Both Jackson and Tagovailoa can be categorized as developmental projects who may be eased into work in the pros. Miami used the No. 18 overall pick on Jackson, who has yet to turn 21. Jackson was a two-year starter at USC and projects as Miami’s long-term option at left tackle. While he will not be Tagovailoa’s blind-side protector, with Miami’s QB-in-training being a southpaw, Jackson still represents a significant investment for the Dolphins.

The Jackson pick came less than a year after the Dolphins traded 2016 first-round pick Laremy Tunsil to Houston. Tunsil is now the league’s highest-paid tackle by a wide margin. Jackson’s $13.6MM slot deal runs through 2023, with the team holding an option to extend it through 2024.

The Dolphins have been active in signing picks. Although their third first-rounder — No. 30 overall selection Noah Igbinoghene — remains unsigned, the Dolphins need only to sign he and second-round O-lineman Robert Hunt to wrap up their draft class.

1-5: Tua Tagovailoa, QB (Alabama): Signed
1-18: Austin Jackson, T (Miami): Signed
1-30: Noah Igbinoghene, CB (Auburn)
2-39: Robert Hunt, OL (Louisiana)
2-56: Raekwon Davis, DL (Alabama): Signed
3-70: Brandon Jones, S (Texas): Signed
4-111: Solomon Kindley, OL (Georgia): Signed
5-154: Jason Strowbridge, DT (UNC): Signed
5-164: Curtis Weaver, DE (Boise State): Signed
6-185: Blake Ferguson, LS (LSU): Signed
7-246: Malcolm Perry, WR/RB (Navy): Signed

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

USC’s Austin Jackson To Declare For Draft

USC offensive lineman Austin Jackson is heading to the NFL. The junior announced that he’ll forgo his final season at USC and declare for the NFL Draft (via Ryan Kartje of the Los Angeles Times).

“USC has truly been such a special place to call home for the last three years,” wrote Jackson. “Thank you to the boys on this team. I couldn’t imagine a better group to have played with. It’s been an honor to be a part of this incredible Trojan brotherhood and to go to war with you guys every day.

“With that shared, I will be foregoing my senior year to pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.”

Despite undergoing offseason surgery, Jackson earned All-Pac-12 first team honors during his final season at USC. This performance helped boost his draft stock, as the left tackle is expected to be selected at some point during the first two rounds. Kartje notes that some scouts consider Jackson a bit of a project, but his size and athleticism will make him a commodity.

Kartje writes that USC is still awaiting word on the status of junior wideout Tyler Vaughns, who’s been debating staying or declaring. Vaughns finished this past season with 74 receptions for 912 yards and six touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.