By Tim Linafelt
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
@Tim_Linafelt on Twitter
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Tre’ Jackson had already used a week of Senior Bowl practices to impress NFL scouts and improve on his standing as one of the top available guards in the 2015 draft.
He then finished with an exclamation point by earning Most Outstanding Player honors for the South team at Saturday’s Senior Bowl game in Mobile, Ala. The North beat the South, 34-13, but the game is usually considered secondary to the week of practices that precede it.
Most draft analysts have projected Jackson, a three-year starter and consensus All-American at Florida State, as a second- or third-round pick. But after the Senior Bowl, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke wrote that Jackson could push his way into the first.
“It’s been an awesome experience to be here with this competition,” Jackson told Seminoles.com. “It (says a lot) about the coaching I received at Florida State and how much it has me advanced on the competition because of the coaching I received out there.”
Jackson spent most of the week under the tutelage of former NFL star Tony Boselli, a three-time All-Pro guard with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Boselli helped Jackson adjust to the pace of pro-style practices, which Jackson says are much faster than in college, and worked with him on both technique and mental preparation.
“He worked great at practice and did a good job of everything that was thrown at him,” Boselli said. “… He’s a good football player.”
And receiving instruction from a former player like Boselli, who has been exactly where Jackson is trying to go, made it easy for Jackson to buy in.
“It’s good to hear when someone like Tony Boselli praises your game,” Jackson said. “He’s one of those guys that, when he says something, you automatically open your ears and listen to him.”
Tre' Jackson worked with former Jacksonville Jaguars great Tony Boselli for much of the Senior Bowl practices. Photo by Chris Nee/247Sports
Jackson met with all 32 NFL teams and answered a variety of questions about his family background, his hometown of Jesup, Ga., and his football acumen.
He impressed coaches with his ability to read defenses and make the correct calls at the line, and even showed off his all-around skills by handling a few snaps at center.
"Coach [Boselli] told me that plays a big role with offensive linemen," Jackson said. "When you can show you're versatile and play any position he asks."
Jackson said the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions and New England Patriots have all shown heavy interest.
“They don’t expect you to know everything,” Jackson said. “But when you can go out and show them that you can pick up on pretty much everything and show them that you know the calls you’re supposed to make, that plays a big part in their minds.”
With a successful Senior Bowl week behind him, Jackson is set to travel to Scottsdale, Ariz., where he’ll train at former Pro-Bowler LeCharles Bentley’s “L. Bentley O-Line Performance” center.
Jackson will then head to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine in mid-February.
What they’re saying about Tre’ Jackson:
“Tre Jackson, G-Florida State living up to reputation/practice play all week. He can play with power, positioning and in space.” – Charles Davis, NFL Network
“He showed good feet and was stout in one-on-one pass protection during the week.” – Eric D. Williams, ESPN.com
“Florida State OG Tre Jackson named the South team most valuable player from today's Senior Bowl. Really helped himself all week.” – Bill Vilona, Pensacola News-Journal
“The scouting profile has him as a better run-blocker than pass-blocker, but his best attribute is his toughness, which is rated as above average.” – Michael Rothstein, ESPN.com