William Jackson III

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William Jackson III
refer to caption
William Jackson in 2017 with the Cincinnati Bengals
No. 22 – Cincinnati Bengals
Personal information
Born: (1993-10-27) October 27, 1993 (age 26)
Houston, Texas
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:196 lb (89 kg)
Career information
High school:Wheatley (Houston, Texas)
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
  • 2× Second-team All-AAC (2014, 2015)
Career NFL statistics as of 2019
Total tackles:105
Forced fumbles:0
Fumble recoveries:0
Pass deflections:30
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com

William Jackson III (born October 27, 1993) is an American football cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Bengals in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Houston.

High school career[edit]

Jackson is a native of the Fifth Ward area of Houston, Texas. Jackson attended Wheatley High School in Houston, where he was teammates with future NFL cornerback Xavien Howard on the school's football team.

Jackson was considered a three-star prospect by Rivals.com.[1] He accepted a scholarship to play college football at the University of Houston.

College career[edit]

Jackson attended Trinity Valley Community College for his freshman year, before enrolling at the University of Houston for his sophomore year. As a senior, he broke up 23 passes and had five interceptions in the 2015 season.[2]

College statistics[edit]

Year Team GP Tackles For loss Passes def Int FF
2015 Houston 12 43 1.5 23 5 0
College totals 12 43 1.5 23 5 0

Professional career[edit]

With a deep cornerback class going into the combine, many analysts were more focused on Vernon Hargreaves III, Jalen Ramsey, and Mackensie Alexander, regarding them as the top players at their position and had Jackson as a second round selection.[3][4][5] Jackson attended the NFL Combine and displayed an amazing performance. His performance boosted his draft stock rise and entered him in the discussion as one of the top cornerback prospects in the draft.[6] Unfortunately, he was unable to finish all the drills at the combine after suffering cramps.[7]

External video
William Jackson III's NFL Combine Workout
William Jackson III's 40-yard dash

On March 31, 2016, Jackson attended Houston's Pro Day and completed his combine drills and performed positIonal drills for scouts and representatives from 31 NFL teams. The majority of analysts had Jackson projected to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers after general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin attended his workout in person.[8][9] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Jackson was projected to be a second round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts.[10] He was ranked as the second best cornerback prospect in the draft by DraftScout.com, the third best cornerback by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and was ranked the fourth best cornerback by Sports Illustrated and ESPN.[11][12][13]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 38 in
(1.84 m)
189 lb
(86 kg)
31 34 in
(0.81 m)
9 14 in
(0.23 m)
4.37 s 1.56 s 2.52 s 4.32 s 6.86 s 9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m)
10 reps
All values from NFL Combine and Houston Cougars pro day.[6]


The Cincinnati Bengals selected Jackson in the first round (24th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.[14] Jackson was the fourth cornerback drafted in 2016.

External video
Bengals draft Jackson III 24th overall

On June 10, 2016, the Cincinnati Bengals signed Jackson to a four-year, $9.07 million rookie contract with $8.71 million guaranteed.[15]

Throughout training camp, Jackson competed to be the Bengals' third cornerback on the depth chart against Darqueze Dennard. On August 2, 2016, it was announced that Jackson had suffered a torn pectoral muscle and would have to undergo surgery. On September 4, 2016, the Cincinnati Bengals officially placed Jackson on injured reserve.[16] He remained on injured reserve for the entire 2016 NFL season.


During training camp, Jackson competed against Darqueze Dennard and Josh Shaw to be the third cornerback on the Bengals' depth chart. Head coach Marvin Lewis named Jackson the fourth cornerback on the depth chart to start the regular season, behind Dre Kirkpatrick, Adam Jones, and Darqueze Dennard.[17]

He made his debut in the Cincinnati Bengals' season-opener against the Baltimore Ravens and made two solo tackles and a pass deflection in their 20–0 loss. Jackson made his first career tackle on wide receiver Breshad Perriman during a five-yard reception in the first quarter.[18] On September 23, 2017, Jackson recorded four solo tackles, a pass deflection, and returned an interception for his first career touchdown in the Bengals' 27–24 overtime loss at the Green Bay Packer's. Jackson intercepted a pass by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, that was originally intended for wide receiver Jordy Nelson, and returned it for a 75-yard touchdown in the second quarter.[19] He became just the second player after then Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson in 2009 to record an interception return for a touchdown against Aaron Rodgers. In Week 7, Jackson earned his first career start after Adam Jones was inactive due to a back injury. Jackson finished the Bengals' 29–14 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers with a solo tackle and two pass deflections. On November 12, 2017, he recorded two solo tackles and made his first career sack during a 24–20 loss at the Tennessee Titans in Week 10. Jackson sacked Titans' quarterback Marcus Mariota for a seven-yard loss on the third quarter.[20] He was inactive for the Bengals' Week 11 victory at the Denver Broncos due to a toe injury.[21] Jackson became a starting cornerback for the Bengals' in Week 14 after Adam Jones was placed on injured reserve due to a groin injury.[22] In Week 15, he collected a season-high five combined tackles during a 34–7 loss at the Minnesota Vikings.[23] Jackson finished the 2017 season with 27 combined tackles (21 solo), 14 pass deflections, a sack, an interception, and a touchdown in 15 games and five starts.[24] Pro Football Focus gave Jackson an overall grade of 89.2, which ranked eighth among all qualifying cornerbacks in 2017.[25]


Throughout training camp, Jackson competed against Darqueze Dennard to be a starting cornerback.[26] Head coach Marvin Lewis named Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick the starting cornerbacks to begin the regular season.[27]


On April 24, 2019, the Bengals picked up the fifth-year option on Jackson's contract.[28] In week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, Jackson recorded his first interception of the season off Jimmy Garoppolo in the 41-17 loss. [29] He was placed on injured reserve on December 27, 2019 with a shoulder injury.[30] He finished the season with 37 tackles, three passes defensed and one interception through 14 games and 13 starts.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular Season[edit]

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sack PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR
2017 CIN 15 5 25 19 6 1.0 14 1 75 75.0 75 1 0 0
2018 CIN 16 16 41 34 7 0.0 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 31 21 66 53 13 1.0 27 1 75 75.0 75 1 0 0

Personal life[edit]

Jackson was raised by his mother, Vanessa Hailey, and grew up in Houston's Fifth Ward. He has three sisters and one brother.[31]


  1. ^ "Rivals".
  2. ^ "William Jackson III 2015 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  3. ^ Jonah Tuls (February 9, 2016). "2016 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Houston CB William Jackson III". draftwire.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Half Habib (April 9, 2016). "Houston corner William Jackson III speeding up NFL Draft lists". palm beach post.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Sam Monson. "Why William Jackson III might be the best CB in the 2016 Draft". Profootballfocus.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "William Jackson III Draft Profile – NFL.com". NFL.com.
  7. ^ "William Jackson III/Houston, CB:2016 NFL Draft". NFLdraftscout.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  8. ^ Gil Brandt (March 25, 2016). "Saints, Steelers get good look at top CB prospect". NFL.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  9. ^ Jacob Klinger (April 7, 2016). "NFL mock draft 2016: Pittsburgh Steelers select William Jackson III, per Mel Kiper". pennlive.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  10. ^ Bucky Brooks (March 1, 2016). "Jared Goff heads combine risers; Noah Spence, Connor Cook fall". NFL.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  11. ^ "2016 NFL Draft Position Rankings". si.com. April 27, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  12. ^ Mayock, Mike. "Mike Mayock's 2016 NFL Draft top 100 prospect rankings". NFL.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  13. ^ Legwold, Jeff (April 25, 2016). "Ranking the draft's top 100 players". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  14. ^ "NFL draft: Results, analysis for every Round 1 pick". ESPN.com. April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  15. ^ "Overthecap.com:William Jackson III contract". Over the cap.com. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  16. ^ Wagner-McGough, Sean. "Bengals' first-round pick William Jackson lands on injured reserve". CBSSports.com.
  17. ^ "Ourlads.com: Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart: 09/27/17". ourlads.com. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  18. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 1-2017: Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals". NFL.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  19. ^ "Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers - September 24th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  20. ^ "NFL Game Center: Week 10-2017: Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans". NFL.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  21. ^ Roling, Chris (November 23, 2017). "Bengals injury report: William Jackson returns, five miss practice". bengalswire.usatoday.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  22. ^ Terrell, Katherine (December 9, 2017). "Bengals place Adam 'Pacman' Jones on IR". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  23. ^ "NFL Player stats: William Jackson III (2017)". NFL.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  24. ^ "NFL Player stats: William Jackson III (career)". NFL.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  25. ^ "Pro Football Focus: William Jackson III". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  26. ^ "NFLBengals CB Darqueze Dennard not concerned 'at all' about his contract". clutchpoints.com. July 2, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  27. ^ Marcum, Jason (September 4, 2018). "Bengals depth chart: Alex Redmond to start at right guard in Week 1". cincyjungle.com. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  28. ^ Smith, Michael David (April 24, 2019). "Bengals pick up William Jackson option". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  29. ^ "Garoppolo throws 3 TDs, 49ers roll over Bengals 41-17". www.espn.com. September 15, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  30. ^ "Bengals Sign Jordan Franks, Trenton Irwin To Roster; William Jackson Placed On Reserve/Injured". Bengals.com. December 27, 2019.
  31. ^ Michael Rosenhouse. "UH's William Jackson III makes his way to the NFL with the support of his family". CW39.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.

External links[edit]