Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Austin Jackson has yet to really establish himself in the NFL, but it appears as though he will have another shot to make his mark in the 2023 season.
In a pre-draft press conference, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said that Jackson is expected to be the team’s starting right tackle this season.
Grier said expectation is Austin Jackson will be starting RT
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 19, 2023
Grier said the team is “excited for him.”
“The expectation is that Austin is the starter at right tackle. We are excited for him. He was frustrated with the injuries last season but has been working hard,” Grier said of Austin Jackson.
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 19, 2023
Jackson began last season as the team’s starting right tackle before going down with an injury in Week 1 against the New England Patriots. He was later placed on injured reserve before coming back to play in Week 12 against the Houston Texans.
That was the last game he played all season, as he was once again placed on injured reserve after that game.
It was undoubtedly a frustrating campaign for the 23-year-old, who has been pretty inconsistent since entering the league back in 2020.
Miami selected him with the 18th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he’s since started in 30 of his 32 appearances. The University of Southern California product has seen time at left tackle and left guard with the Dolphins.
The 2023 season seems to be a make-or-break year for Jackson, who probably won’t have the fifth-year option on his contract picked up.
It’s a shame that Jackson was unable to play in more games last season, as he seemed to be improving slightly. Pro Football Focus gave him a 57.9 overall grade, his highest since entering the league.
The 6-foot-5, 325-pounder will have an important job this coming season, as he will be responsible for protecting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side.
Arguably the most important thing this season is for the Dolphins to protect Tagovailoa from any type of harm. Of course, he suffered two confirmed concussions last season, the second of which kept him out of Miami’s lone playoff game.
Fans can only imagine how the campaign would have turned out had the University of Alabama product been healthy all season long.
Regardless of how last season ended, fans in South Florida are extremely excited for what’s to come.