Baltimore Ravens’ Asa Jackson Primed to be Star Returner in 2013 Season

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Asa Jackson has had his share of ups and downs since his selection by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Ozzie Newsome selected the Cal Poly product because of his athleticism as a corner. What Newsome probably knew that the rest of the world did not was that this young man is an electric returner.

Jackson’s cornerback skills cannot be ignored; he had eight interceptions for 309 yards and three touchdowns during his college tenure. He is a tough fearless tackler even at his height and weight of 5-foot-11, 188 lbs.  Jackson seems to have a nose for the ball; he was always in the right situation as a Mustang and was able to flourish among his peers.

Additionally, Jackson showed off his skill as a returner by averaging 14 yards per punt return in college. He runs a 4.4-40 yard dash, but plays even faster. He showed off his talent as a returner during the 2012 NFL preseason against the Detroit Lions. He managed to return a punt back for a touchdown late in the game, only to have it called back due to a holding penalty.

It did not matter that the play was called back; the Ravens’ coaching staff stood witness to enough blazing speed and agility to consider Jackson for a roster spot.

With Jackson arguably at the bottom of the depth chart at cornerback, it appears the only way he’ll make this roster is as a returner. Jacoby Jones may be used more as a receiver in 2013, pushing Jackson to the front line.  One thing is certain about Jackson in either position: once he gets the ball, he’s not just looking for a couple of yards.

Jermaine Lockett is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like  him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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