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    Donovan Jackson’s Draft Profile | Ohio State, G Scouting Report

    Can Ohio State's Donovan Jackson be the first interior offensive lineman selected in the 2025 NFL Draft with his scouting report? Let's discuss.

    He was a heavily anticipated prospect last cycle, but now Ohio State offensive guard Donovan Jackson returns as a compelling candidate in the 2025 NFL Draft with his scouting report. What makes Jackson so unique as a prospect?

    Donovan Jackson’s Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 6’4″
    • Weight: 320 pounds
    • Position: Offensive Guard
    • School: Ohio State
    • Current Year: Senior

    The Ohio State Buckeyes — under Urban Meyer and then Ryan Day — have long established themselves as a quality identifier and developer of NFL-caliber talent on the offensive line. Next on the conveyor belt for the Buckeyes is Jackson — a stud at offensive guard.

    Jackson’s talent was very evident in high school at Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas. He was a star on the football field and a natural in the shotput and discus, but his future lay with football. He was a consensus five-star recruit and a top-10 national talent.

    Jackson signed with Ohio State, and since then he’s been an impact player for the majority of his collegiate career. After playing 13 games as a reserve in his true freshman season, Jackson started the next 26 games at left guard, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2022 and 2023.

    There was a case for Jackson to declare in the 2024 NFL Draft cycle. Instead, he returned to school where he’ll compete for a College Football Playoff National Championship — and eventually a spot in the early rounds.

    Jackson’s Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Has a well-proportioned frame with exceptional mass and natural leverage.
    • Arms potentially near 36″ long give him an elite mix of leverage and proportional length.
    • An elite athlete with near-elite explosive capacity off the snap and great range in space.
    • Initial burst, natural leverage, and overwhelming length amount to elite power capacity.
    • Can slab and plow defenders off the line with elite knock-back power and power drive.
    • Has the core and lower body strength to anchor against and suffocate opposing power.
    • Has shown he can acquire proper leverage and play with controlled lean and bend.
    • At least has above-average flexibility and flashes good recovery athleticism and energy.
    • Lateral mobility allows him to easily match and redirect in pass protection, sealing gaps.
    • Able to employ synergetic pass-blocking technique with a wide base and tight hands.
    • Can sequentially gather rushers with tight-handed punches while keeping base strong.
    • Can use his lateral mobility to seamlessly pick up stunts and looping rushers.
    • A relatively assignment-sound run blocker who can stack blocks while climbing upfield.
    • A physical blocker who shows a willingness to power through and finish opponents.
    • Experienced, decorated player who was a high-level starter early in his career.

    Weaknesses

    • Incredibly explosive but can at times better channel explosiveness out of his stance.
    • Can get caught bending at the waist and lurching out of his stance, losing leverage.
    • At times, drifts too far upright in space and can have trouble sustaining blocks.
    • Sometimes comes off the snap too tall in pass protection with inconsistent knee bend.
    • Hands can be aimless and imprecise at times, causing wasted motion and inefficiency.
    • Tends to wrap around defenders with length rather than striking and driving through.
    • Sometimes ducks and over-extends with length, exposing himself to chops and swims.
    • Dense, high-mass frame yields visible hip stiffness on redirections while in space.
    • Hip stiffness can at times impact his ability to align his base and drive power as a puller.
    • Slight torso stiffness can inhibit his ability to maintain pad level and leverage in reps.
    • Occasionally narrows his base too far in pass protection when responding on help blocks.
    • Doesn’t have distinct positional versatility and may be confined to guard.

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    Entering the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, Jackson grades out as a top-64 prospect in the class and one of the top interior offensive linemen. With another year of growth, it’s not out of the question that he could be the first interior offensive lineman selected.

    At around 6’4″, 320 pounds, with near-36″ arms, Jackson has a picture-perfect combination of natural leverage, mass, and proportional length, which he combines with elite explosive athleticism off the line. He’s strong, powerful, athletic, and rangy, and all of those traits bode well.

    Past his physical foundation, Jackson has proven himself to be a very promising pass protector. He regularly maintains synergy with a wide base and tight hands, and he can use his lateral mobility to match and wall off rushers while using independent hands to gather.

    Going further, Jackson also has upside as a run blocker. He gets off the line with energy and can use his range to wash over defenders while driving through with his full power output. He also has the awareness and football IQ to maintain angles and stack blocks.

    There are still aberrations with footwork and hand usage for Jackson to clean up after two years as a starter, and the bigger issue is his non-elite flexibility. Those slight flexibility limitations can impact his leverage play and pad-level management at times.

    Nevertheless, Jackson has a tantalizing toolbox and enough of an operational floor to be a mid-level starting offensive guard early in his NFL career. And with more refinement, he can be an impact starter on the interior with schematic versatility in the run game.

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