A 12 months in the past, some would have argued Dolphins proper sort out Austin Jackson was a bust. My, how issues have modified.
On Thursday, Jackson obtained a three-year, $36M contract extension with $20.7M assured after his breakout fourth 12 months within the league, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
In May, the Dolphins declined to select up the fifth-year possibility on Jackson’s rookie deal after drafting him 18th general throughout the 2020 NFL Draft.
In his first three seasons within the league, Jackson underwhelmed. Per data from Pro Football Focus, he allowed 87 complete pressures throughout his first two seasons as he hung out at left sort out and left guard. An ankle damage restricted him to 2 video games in 2022 earlier than his breakout season this 12 months at proper sort out.
Jackson has solely allowed two sacks and 13 complete pressures in 431 alternatives, a fee of three.01 % in comparison with 7.64 % from 2020-22. His enchancment is a refreshing reminder that our knee-jerk reactions aren’t set in stone and younger gamers can enhance if given the time to develop.
That is not at all times the case. Some solely show what we thought we knew the extra enjoying time they get.
However Jackson and the Dolphins each deserve credit score for his or her persistence. It is not usually a participant who struggled as a lot as Jackson did in his first three seasons makes the sort of leap he did this 12 months. Groups are additionally fast to maneuver on from underperforming gamers, which Miami may have achieved by promoting low on Jackson in a commerce.
Per PFF, among the many 39 quarterbacks with probably the most dropbacks this season, Tua Tagovailoa has been saved clear within the pocket at the next fee (78.3 %) than another quarterback.
On these throws, he’s 251-of-329 (76.3 %) for 3,094 yards, 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His wonderful 117 passer score is second solely to 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (131.6) in comparable conditions. Tagovailoa’s fast launch on these makes an attempt (2.11 seconds) definitely helps him keep clear, however that additionally demonstrates how the Dolphins have put Jackson able to succeed.
Miami ranks twenty second in ESPN’s pass rush win rate rankings, however Tagovailoa has solely been sacked 17 instances this season, tied for the second-lowest within the league amongst quarterbacks with a minimum of 12 begins.
Jackson’s improvement this 12 months is a first-rate instance of a crew that understands its personnel and how you can cater its sport plan to them.