Miami Dolphins need Austin Jackson to leap forward in 2022

Austin Jackson(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Austin Jackson(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Austin Jackson shouldn’t have been drafted by the Miami Dolphins when he was, so far, he hasn’t lived up to the first-round pricetag.

2022 is going to be an interesting one for Jackson. He will have a good offensive line coach for the first time in his career and that should help his development but at the same time, he has to prove that he can consistently play better.

In 2020, Jackson was not ready to play. His inconsistency was easy to see not from week to week but at times series to series. He wasn’t playing well at tackle so in 2021, he moved to guard.

At guard, Jackson played much better which would make one think the Dolphins would keep him there but that isn’t the case heading into training camp. It is unclear if Jackson will play guard or right tackle for the Dolphins in 2022.

Jackson will enter his 3rd season and by now, in most cases, you have a pretty good idea of what kind of lineman you have but with Jackson we simply don’t quite know yet. That is one reason this season is so important.

Miami, at this point, will not be prepared to pick up his 5th-year option after this season. In fact, it is unclear if Miami will pick up the 5th year option on any of their 2020 first-round picks that also include Tua Tagovailoa and Noah Igbinoghene.

Jackson is going to face competition this year. He will be pushed by Robert Hunt and possibly Connor Williams and at tackle, he will compete directly with Liam Eichenberg. Miami traded up for Eichenberg in the 2021 NFL Draft’s 2nd round.

There is not a lot of room for error with Jackson and hopefully, the OC and line coaching changes will help him with his consistency and footwork as well as his hand usage. Jackson is young and still has time and there is no reason to think that he won’t be a part of the Dolphins’ 53-man roster, he has proven he can play in the NFL, but now he needs to do it with a higher level of consistency.