Miami Dolphins Rumors: Austin Jackson Not Expected to Start at Onset of Season

Austin Jackson

The Miami Dolphins selected University of Southern California lineman Austin Jackson with the No. 18 overall pick in the draft earlier this year.

Despite the expectations that Jackson faces as a first-round pick, the Dolphins reportedly have no intention of rushing him along. In fact, it appears as though Jackson is unlikely to be named the team’s starting left tackle at the onset of the upcoming season.

“The Dolphins are weak at left tackle, which obviously is the reason they drafted Jackson,” Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald wrote. “But the idea they’re so weak they will rush Jackson to the front lines to battle bigger, stronger, faster pass rushers than he faced in college is probably not correct.

“At least one hopes not.

“When the team eventually opens training camp, the Dolphins are expected to have Julie’n Davenport as their first-team left tackle — which is where he was the final seven games of the ‘19 season. This is a product of experience and other factors.

“Jackson, meanwhile, will have to hone his abilities as a backup — at least at first.

“The Dolphins obviously have high hopes for Jackson because left tackle is a cornerstone position on any football team, and their first-round investment in him is sizable. But in the one time coach Brian Flores discussed Jackson, the conversation was more about the player needing time and work than just an opportunity to walk through the doors and shine.”

While Jackson was considered to be just outside the top tier of lineman prospects in this year’s draft, there’s still a lot for the Dolphins to be excited about.

Throughout his time at USC, the 6-foot-5, 317-pound tackle displayed elite athleticism, great foot quickness and versatility.

While he has room to improve when it comes to hand placement as well as overcommitting on certain plays, there is no doubt that he will be given the chance to get better as his NFL career progresses.