April 28, 2012
NEW YORK -Tennessee defensive lineman Malik Jackson (2010-11) became the Vols' 330th all-time NFL Draft selection when the Denver Broncos chose him in the fifth round with the 137th overall pick Saturday at Radio Music City Hall in New York.
Tennessee, which has produced the SEC's most NFL draft picks and the seventh most of any school nationally, saw Jackson become the third UT defensive lineman taken since 2009, joining first-rounders Dan Williams (2010) and Robert Ayers (2009).
Ayers was also a Broncos' selection and is still on the Denver roster. Jackson also joins former Vols Britton Colquitt and Peyton Manning in Denver.
Jackson is the 63rd Vol drafted since 2000, which currently ranks second in the conference and fifth nationally, including 14 other defensive linemen. Four of those Vols' defensive linemen (Shaun Ellis, Justin Harrell, Rashad Moore and Darwin Walker) have played in the Super Bowl.
Jackson, who played in the Senior Bowl in late January, was named to the All-SEC First Team by the media in 2011 and the All-SEC Second Team by the coaches.
Also a 2010 AP All-SEC second team honoree, Jackson led the Vols in tackles for loss (11), sacks (2.5) and quarterback hurries (10). His 56 tackles were a career-high, ranked tied for third on the team and positioned him as one of just two defensive linemen to rank in the SEC's top 50 in tackles per game with an average of 4.6 each outing, placing 50th.
The Northridge, Calif., native was one of seven Vols with multiple pass breakups (2), while also forcing a fumble. His 11 TFLs ranked 12th in the SEC.
JACKSON DRAFT QUOTES FROM DENVER
On where he will play on the defensive line
"I believe they project me to play defensive end."
On how comfortable he is playing on the outside
"I'm really comfortable. That's what I played at the University of Southern California before I transferred. I've been really working at the defensive end area this offseason. I feel really comfortable about this and I feel really good. I'm just ready to go in there and compete for a job."
On his skills as a pass rusher
"I feel that some of my strengths are my arm length--I have really good lengthy arms and I feel that I can use them well. I've got good feet to come up off the edge. I'm pretty knowledgeable about pass rush moves. I pretty much feel that I'm an all-around good defensive end. There are some skills I know I need to work on so I'm ready to get up to Denver and have them check me out, see how I look, and see if they have something I can work on."
On if he knows former University of Tennessee DE Robert Ayers
"I don't know him. He was there before I got there. I'm interested to get to know another UT grad and UT football player and it's exciting."
On his current weight
"I'm at 285 right now."
On his playing weight last season
"I played at like 267. I kind of felt a little small at D-tackle in the SEC, but I just realized it's all about technique and going out there wanting to really know what you're doing. That's what I did and feel like I started to get an upper edge on plays, but I feel really good at 285. I've been working out at it, and I feel really good. "
On leaving Southern California for Tennessee
"It was because I felt like I needed another home. I just wasn't really happy at USC after Pete Carroll left, and I took my talents somewhere else to really show what I have to the next level, and I did and it worked out perfectly for me. I couldn't be happier."
On joining a locker room with several Tennessee Volunteers
"I feel like we've some good Tennessee guys, so hopefully they'll be welcoming me with open arms and I'm pretty excited to play with those kinds of guys."
JACKSON DRAFT NOTES
- Second pick in the fifth round and 137th overall
- Heading to the Denver Broncos, Jackson joins former Vols DE Robert Ayers, P Britton Colquitt and QB Peyton Manning,
- 330rd NFL draft pick from UT, which ranks as the most among SEC schools and seventh nationally
- 30th defensive lineman taken in this year's NFL Draft
- 63rd Vol drafted since 2000, which currently ranks second in the SEC and fifth nationally
TWITTER REACTION TO THE PICK
I wanna first say thank God, 2nd thank you to the fans for everything, 3rd thank you to my football boyscouldn't do it without y'all.-- Malik Barron Jackson (@TheMalikJackson) April 28, 2012
So excited to be a Bronco. Dreams really do come true when u put your heart and soul into. Praise the lord. Time to get to work.-- Malik Barron Jackson (@TheMalikJackson) April 28, 2012
Jackson on joining former Vols Colquitt, Manning & Ayers: "They have some good Tennessee guys so hopefully they welcome me with open arms."-- Denver Broncos (@Denver_Broncos) April 28, 2012
Robert Ayers Jr (@1_900_ayersjr) April 28, 2012
Mychal Rivera (@MychalRivera) April 28, 2012
Ben Martin (@ucantstopbmart) April 28, 2012
@themalikjackson Congrats bro!!! Well deserved-- Tyler Drummer (@tdrum12) April 28, 2012
S/O to Malik Jackson to da broncos-- marlin lane jr (@VolBoy4) April 28, 2012
Alan Posey (@CozyPosey67) April 28, 2012
@TheMalikJackson congrats my dude!-- Naz Oliver (@NazOliver13) April 28, 2012
Brock Collier (@brock_collier) April 28, 2012
Jarrod Shaw (@Mr_J_Shaw) April 28, 2012
@1_900_ayersjr Got another Vol goin to Mile High! Malik is a great addition to the new Orange Crush! Go Vols! Go Broncos!-- Max Vogel (@pmvogel17) April 28, 2012
@TheMalikJackson You deserve it man! You were great for us at Tennessee. Good luck. I will be watching you for many years!!!-- Daniel (@Comoncents85) April 28, 2012