You could tell the ESPN experts were stunned. It’s not the first time that’s happened when the Bengals made a choice in the NFL Draft.
Remember David Klingler? Or Akili Smith? Even Chris Berman stopped talking.
The Bengals were predictably unpredictable again on draft night Thursday.
They selected William Jackson III, a tall, rangy cornerback from Houston. Marvin Lewis said Jackson “fits us.”
— will jackson lll (@fantastik_willo) April 29, 2016
When you look at his numbers, you could see why he was coveted. He broke up 23 passes last season. That was best in the nation. His speed is listed as good, and he has the ability to locate the ball well.
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After the selection was made, Lewis told reporters “he’s got excellent athletic skills, speed and length and a lot of the right qualities to develop into a fine corner.”
It’s the fourth time since 2007 the Bengals have selected a cornerback in the first round. The others -- Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard -- are all still with the team.
Jackson is a Houston kid. He went to Wheatley High School in Houston, and then after a stint at Trinity Valley Community College, he spent three seasons with the Cougars.
Tom Herman was the head coach of Houston in 2015. He has Cincinnati roots and spent significant time on Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State. You’d think that the Bengals coaching staff relied heavily on Herman’s opinion of Jackson as a player, a teammate and a person.
Jackson will be in Cincinnati on Friday to meet with the news media and to get acquainted with the Bengals coaching staff.