The 2023 Miami Dolphins may not be where they are right now if not for Austin Jackson. Look, I get it. I can't believe the thought entered my brain but we have all be on him since his 2nd season in the NFL and it isn't like the Dolphins saw enough to pick up his 5th year option either.
Now, he is one of the higher rated right tackles and is playing so good that Tua is hardly being touched from that side of the field. Against the Giants, he gave up...nothing.
Jackson has had a tough go of it since joining the Dolphins as a first round pick the same draft they took Tua Tagovailoa and Noah Igbinoghene. Igbinoghene was a monumental mistake and Jackson appeared to be heading down that road as well.
Then, Butch Barry arrives and suddenly Jackson is playing like a player drafted in the first round.
So should the Dolphins explore the possibility of extending him should his season continue down the path it is currently going? Should they look at Jackson as a player playing like this simply because he is in a contract year and wants to get paid?
Whatever the Dolphins saw in him, Chris Grier stuck with his gut and it is playing out. Perhaps maybe this is one of those cases that Mike McDaniel's offense is so fast that Jackson doesn't have to be perfect. On Sunday, however, I watched him bull down the field to make a block on a long run and I haven't seen that from him before.
Last year, his first with McDaniel, Jackson was injured before he could get into any sort of rhythm but he didn't look all that good when he was able to play. This year? Something seems to have clicked.
Next off-season we will know what Jackson's future will be but right now, the Dolphins may have their solution at RT and suprise....it might just be Austin Jackson.