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Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson could become another first-round pick for coach Kirk Ferentz.

Iowa corner Josh Jackson solidifies first-round status with 40 time

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ANSWER: Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson remains solidly in the first round among most mock draft projections. At the NFL combine, Jackson unofficially ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds. Then the official time posted at 4.56 seconds. Jackson’s original time seemed to place him perhaps in the top 10, while his second time kept his speed as a question mark. Then when he appeared awkward in several drills, Jackson’s stock apparently dropped.

At Jackson’s pro day on Monday, he ran the 40 in 4.52 seconds. He had meetings with NFL officials afterward and was unavailable for comment.

One former NFL scout for an NFC team told me the stopwatch matters big time when determining first- and second-round cornerbacks and wide receivers. At 4.52 seconds, the scout said Jackson is fine. Had he ran slower than 4.6 seconds, questions would linger about Jackson.

As for Jackson’s draft prospects, most national mock drafts list him from mid-to-late first round. Both ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have Jackson heading to Seattle with the No. 18 pick. Three NFL Network personalities have three completely different opinions. Chad Reuter has Jackson also to Seattle, while Charles Davis puts Jackson at No. 32 to Philadelphia. Bucky Brooks doesn’t even have Jackson in the first round.

Cornerback always is a need for NFL teams and Jackson likely gets picked by No. 20. Don’t rule out a team like Chicago trading down from No. 8 and snagging him four or five picks later. Bears general manager Ryan Pace scouted the Iowa-Wisconsin game last fall when Jackson intercepted 2 passes for scores. The Bears also met with Jackson at the NFL combine.

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