Needing added depth for the defensive line, the Seattle Seahawks have released linebacker Justin March-Lillard and signed defensive end Branden Jackson to the 53-man roster from the practice squad.
The @Seahawks have released LB Justin March-Lillard and signed DE Branden Jackson from the practice squad.— Seattle Seahawks (@seahawksPR) October 7, 2017
Jackson went undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2016 and was signed by the Oakland Raiders (Ken Norton connection), being active for three games and recording one tackle. From his NFL.com scouting report in 2016:
Jackson absolutely looks the part of an NFL defensive end/rush linebacker, but like many Tech defenders, was underrated due to Tech's middling success and the program's reputation for offensive prowess. As a redshirt freshman, he played in all 13 games as a reserve (19 tackles, one forced fumble) and then gave a glimpse of his talent while starting every game in 2013 (44 tackles, nine for loss, four sacks). Jackson started 12 games as a junior, producing well (44 stops, 10.5 for loss, five sacks) but failing to receive All-Big 12 recognition for his efforts. His numbers dropped off a bit in 2015 (31 tackles, 4.5 for loss, two sacks), but his potential made him an easy invite to the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine.
Long legs with frame to continue adding muscle. Has good length with big hands. Former linebacker who has maintained his athleticism despite added weight during time at Tech. Pretty good upfield get-off as pass rusher from the edge. Flashes some penetration traits. Has additional closing gear when he has quarterback in his sights. Able to battle for the edge against much bigger opponents.
Tweener lacking bulk inside and juice of an edge player. Doesn?t generate enough natural power to displace blockers. Gets into protracted battles with tight ends rather than manhandling them. Coasts on too many plays. Needs greater sense of urgency from play to play. Gets near the ball, but doesn't convert. Lack of desired balance and body control lead to missed tackles. Lacks consistent pass rush ability.
SOURCES TELL US
"He'll have a flash here and there, but not enough to warrant drafting him." -- AFC area scout
Good athlete with quality movement skills who doesn't make nearly enough plays against the run or as a pass rusher. His best bet is to pack more muscle on as a strongside defensive end who can offer backup potential.