Not too long ago, Eddie Jackson was a rookie himself in 2017. He understood the trial and challenges needed to overcome in order to become part of the Chicago Bears starting defense. He achieved that goal and has since become one of the focal points of the unit, earning All-Pro honors in 2018. So he has a unique perspective in terms of watching this latest Bears draft class embark on their own quests to crack the top 22.
Continuing his offseason campaign of talking with various media outlets, the accessible Jackson appeared on the Bears Banter podcast with Bill Zimmerman to discuss various topics. Things started with the transition from Vic Fangio to Chuck Pagano, then covered his comments regarding the pursuit of the ’85 Bears. His most interesting statement though came when asked about which rookie has stood out to him the most at this point.
There wasn’t must hesitation in his answer. Jackson is becoming a big fan of 6th round pick Duke Shelley.
“Duke, man. Duke has stood out the most to me, to be honest. To see the energy he brings. He has a dog. We call it ‘He has that dog inside of him.’ He wants to come out and compete. You know he’s lined up against Turbo (Taylor Gabriel), Riley Ridley, or any other guy, he’s going to feel like he’s going to win that matchup.
When you tell him something, you see him take the coaching and actually put it into his game. For us? Having a young guy like that? We can trust him.”
Eddie Jackson is the latest to heap praise on Shelley
The buzz around Shelley has been persisting since rookie minicamps back in May. A cornerback out of Kansas State, he arrived to little fanfare in April. Few people even knew his name. When they found out he was cornerback who is only 5’8, their reservations intensified. However, upon evaluating his tape it started to become clear the Bears may have gotten themselves a football player.
For what he lacks in height, Shelley makes up for it in athleticism and toughness. He can play the physical game against wide receivers and won his share of battles for the football. The man himself believes if he hadn’t suffered an untimely injury last season he would’ve been a higher draft choice. Seeing the film and hearing the whispers thus far? It’s hard not to take him at his word.
Now with Jackson throwing his own assessment into the mix, it’s clear the Bears may have gotten a steal with that pick.