Titans Select USC Defensive Back Adoree' Jackson 18th Overall



PHILADELPHIA –** Adoree' Jackson has a winning personality.

As he stood on the "Rocky Steps" here at the NFL Draft, the USC cornerback was grinning ear to ear after being selected with the 18th overall pick in the first round Thursday night. Conversations come easy for the versatile playmaker, he admits.

It's why he felt so good about all of his pre-draft visits, and his prospects of getting picked early.

"I feel like every time I get a visit to a team, (the team) will pick me," Jackson said with a smile. "I just feel like I just have to be myself and at the end of the day, people would just like me for being me.

"But at the end of the day you don't pick players for personality, I know that. It's about needs and wants, and being able to help a team. (The Titans) picked me because they thought I could help the team."

It's true.

The Titans snagged Jackson to bring some action.

At USC, he was the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation's top cornerback. He finished the season with 55 tackles, five interceptions and 11 passes defensed while totaling 1,230 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.

In addition to playing cornerback, the 5-foot-10, 186-pound Jackson also saw time at receiver, kick returner, punt returner and running back.

"I can do more than one thing on the defense -- I can play outside, I can play inside. I can also return," Jackson said of his versatility. "And if I am needed on offense you can throw me out there whenever. I am just thankful the coaches at Tennessee believed in me and picked me up.

"I am fired up to go put a helmet on, put a jersey on, strap up the cleats and go out to practice right now."

Jackson, who made a pre-draft visit to the Titans earlier this month, should make an immediate impact in the secondary, and beyond.

He was the 2016 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and he ranked first in Pac-12 history in career kickoff-return touchdowns (four), and fourth all-time in career punt-return scores (four). He was a two-time finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player in major college football.

"When they were up on the board I was hoping they would pick me, and when they did it just felt right," Jackson said of the Titans. "The coaches liked me and I liked the coaches, so it is just a blessing to hear my name."

Jackson, who grew up in Illinois but moved to California before his sophomore year in high school, said the Titans made him feel comfortable during his visit. And it continued with the phone call he received from Titans GM Jon Robinson on Thursday night.

"He was like, Are you ready to be a Titan?," Jackson said with a smile. "I talked to him, the head coach, and I went to the lady at the front desk. It was cool, and they all had that southern hospitality that I love and like. I felt welcome right away from the phone call.

"And it was just a great feeling when I came to visit. It felt like the coaches were warm-hearted, it felt like a family, the organization. I get that southern hospitality vibe. So I'm happy how things worked out. Now, I'm ready to get to work."

The Titans select USC defensive back Adoree' Jackson in the first round (#18th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. (AP Photos).

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