If J.C. Jackson were a stock, Jason McCourty would be buying.
McCourty raved about his fellow New England Patriots cornerback Sunday on “Double Coverage With the McCourty Twins,” saying the third-year pro has elite potential.
“Sky’s the limit for J.C.,” McCourty said. “I call him Jerald; I don’t call him J.C. But I tell my guy Jerald that all the time. His jump from Year 2 to Year 1 was a huge jump. (He had) a ton of success. I see no different in Year 3 for him. I tell him all the time, I think he has the potential to be — when you talk about some of the best corners in our game, I feel like he’s right there, and he’s only scratched the surface of how good he can possibly be as a corner.
“So I believe a ton in J.C. I think (the) sky’s the limit for him.”
Jackson has been a revelation for the Patriots since going undrafted out of Maryland in 2018. His eight interceptions over the last two seasons are tied with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore for most on the team, and Jackson’s 37.0 passer rating against in 2019 led all NFL cornerbacks.
Jackson surrendered just one touchdown last season, according to Pro Football Focus, and has allowed more than 60 receiving yards just twice in 33 career games, including playoffs.
McCourty, who started New England’s first 10 games opposite Gilmore last year before going down with a groin injury, isn’t the first Patriots defender to heap praise on Jackson. After the 24-year-old pulled down two interceptions in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals last December, Gilmore said Jackson “has the best ball skills I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot of corners.”
“He plays the ball as good as anybody,” Gilmore said.
All eight of Jackson’s career picks have come on passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield.
Going deep and picked off by J.C Jackson! pic.twitter.com/HbGbx6jM33
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 15, 2019
With Gilmore, Jackson, McCourty, slot corner Jonathan Jones and 2019 second-round draft pick Joejuan Williams all returning, New England’s cornerback group again should be one of the NFL’s best this season.