WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
HT: 6-6, WT: 235, Born: 1-14-1983, College: Northern Colorado, Drafted: Round 2
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Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full ADP list]Overall: R Bush (36), R Cobb (37), Vincent Jackson (38), C Newton (39), M Crabtree (40)
Position: L Fitzgerald (32-WR10), R Cobb (37-WR11), Vincent Jackson (38 - WR12), M Crabtree (40-WR13), V Cruz (41-WR14)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: R Cobb (33), V Cruz (34), Vincent Jackson (35), F Gore (36), D Wilson (37)
Position: R Cobb (33-WR11), V Cruz (34-WR12), Vincent Jackson (35 - WR13), W Welker (38-WR14), M Crabtree (40-WR15)
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Vincent Jackson enjoyed his most productive season in 2012, his first with Tampa Bay. Jackson was the clear top target in the passing game and his ball skills meshed well with the inconsistent and sometimes wild Josh Freeman under center. Jackson was targeted often in the red zone and returned to his high-efficiency level of play from early in his career. Outside of Jackson and Mike Williams, there is very little else in the Tampa Bay receiving corps. Jackson is expected to see a high number of targets again in 2013.
|1||at New York Jets|
|2||New Orleans Saints|
|3||at New England Patriots|
|7||at Atlanta Falcons|
|9||at Seattle Seahawks|
|12||at Detroit Lions|
|13||at Carolina Panthers|
|15||San Francisco 49ers|
|16||at St. Louis Rams|
|17||at New Orleans Saints|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Vincent Jackson had a point to prove in his Tampa Bay debut, and he did it with aplomb. Jackson is the perfect receiver for Schiano’s offense; he will be a terror to cover on short to intermediate routes and his big body can be used to outmuscle and outfight defenders for the football in tight windows. Josh Freeman showed his trust in his new toy several times throughout the game. Although Jackson dropped a catchable pass late in the game on a slant route, he had an impact throughout. He is also a willing and capable blocker, and he showed his talent there on several nice runs by Doug Martin. Jackson also had a long gain negated by a penalty and a long pass interference penalty committed against him. Jackson may not have the statistical upside in Tampa Bay that he had in San Diego, but his opportunity is there and Freeman clearly trusts him.
Week 2 - Vincent Jackson was a thorn in the side of the Giants all game long. Jackson was wide open in many circumstances for the Bucs and made big catches for his team throughout. Jackson started off the day with a bang, streaking down the sideline and hauling in a big gain down the field. Jackson used his size advantage and good speed to put himself in the best position to beat out defenders for the ball. Jackson was able to manoeuvre his way through soft zone coverage at times like a veteran WR and give Freeman a big target to throw to. Jackson had a shot at a touchdown early on but Freeman overthrew him and it fell incomplete just short of his outstretched arms. Jackson came back however, and performed a similar play as he got behind the defense and leapt up to grab the touchdown pass after a terrific throw from Freeman that gave just enough distance for his WR to connect with it. Jackson showed the good chemistry he has developed with Josh Freeman, as the duo hooked up with a nice looking back shoulder pass for a big first down. Jackson took a big hit late in the game but held onto the ball after a vicious shot from a Giants safety. He was also able to haul in another bomb from Freeman late in the game but it was too little too late for the Bucs. Jackson showed he still has the speed and hands that combine with his speed to prove he has what it takes to be the #1 WR for Tampa Bay.
Week 3 - Jackson had multiple targets on the day but Josh Freeman's atrocious accuracy made it impossible for him to capitalize on single coverage down low. The Cowboys did rotate a safety to his side for deep patterns, but Jackson was open often on crossing patterns and quick-outs; quarterback Josh Freeman simply lacked the accuracy to place the ball anywhere near his star receiver's hands. Williams' loan catch came on a quick hook pattern to the left side. On the play, Williams showed excellent athletic ability in jumping higher than the defender and securing the ball cleanly with his hands for a 29 yard gain. The reception was Tampa Bay's longest play from scrimmage for the day.
Week 4 - The mercurial former Charger proved to the home crowd that breaking the bank for him was worth it. One of the NFL’s deadliest combinations of size, speed, and athleticism, Jackson roasted the feeble Redskins secondary for exactly one hundred yards on six catches, including a seven-yard touchdown pass from Josh Freeman in which he simply out-muscled double coverage. He made the highlight reel on Sunday when he burned Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall on an isolation route, streaking downfield to haul in a beautiful pass from Josh Freeman for a fifty-four yard gain. Jackson led all Buccaneers receivers with eleven targets. He actually could have had a much bigger day given those targets, but, as Jackson is wont to do, appeared out-of-sync with quarterback Josh Freeman in the first half. He also caught a twenty-two yard pass from Freeman in the red zone, but got tackled two yards short of the goal line. Still, as a notorious feast-or-famine receiver, Jackson ate well on Sunday against the Redskins.
Week 6 - Jackson’s first touchdown could not have been much easier. He ran a good post route against zone coverage and the Chiefs just forgot to account for him. His second touchdown came against much tighter coverage and Jackson showed great balance to stumble into the end zone. He was missed by Freeman for what would have been another touchdown if he had thrown it over the correct shoulder.
Week 7 - Vincent Jackson was way too athletic for the New Orleans Saints defensive backs in this game. Whenever Jackson was in single coverage, it was an easy completion for Josh Freeman. His touchdown reception proved that as he easily beat Patrick Robinson on the outside. Jackson sidestepped Robinson at the line of scrimmage, before running straight down the field and diving for the endzone. While Jackson had easy matchups all day, he also worked hard to help his quarterback whenever he had to hang in the pocket. Jackson made multiple big catches when late in plays. Jackson's biggest reception of the game came with the Buccaneers backed up against their own goalline. Jackson ran down the left sideline and showed excellent concentration to catch a pass he initially bobbled before sprinting down the sideline for a 95 yard reception. Jackson was only stopped short of the goalline because of excellent effort from Malcolm Jenkins.
Week 8 - Jackson had very few opportunities against Minnesota. The offense was very Doug Martin-centric as the running game had success early in the game. Freeman’s throws to Jackson were off-target more often than not. Jackson high-pointed a pass that was lobbed high in the air when Freeman was hit as he released that ball. In addition to that play, Jackson’s lone positive play came when he juked a defensive back out of his cleats on a third down route, getting wide open for the conversion. Even with the missed opportunities of Freeman’s inaccurate passes, Jackson’s ceiling of production was not all that high in this game. Mike Williams was seeing far more 1-on-1 matchups that Freeman targeted as well as the early success of the run game. In a game that Tampa Bay controlled from the outset, Jackson’s staple big plays were not required to move the ball and comfortably win the game.
Week 9 - Vincent Jackson only had four targets in the whole game and two of them came on the same drive. They were also his only two receptions of the game. He exploded for a deep reception on the very first play of the second quarter. Josh Freeman hung in the pocket, and Jackson came free on a deep post route behind two Raiders' defenders. The ball was slightly underthrown so Jackson was forced to work back to it. The 65 yard reception was followed by a personal foul penalty on Jackson that cost him 15 yards. The receiver quickly atoned for his mistake however, as Freeman found him wide open in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown.
Week 10 - Facing his former team for the first time, Jackson had a relatively quiet performance considering the stats he’s been putting up lately. He did have a team high five receptions in the game and managed to haul in a 31-yard grab down the sideline late in the game. But aside from that one long gain, he had four catches for just 28 yards (suggesting that most of his catches were short and the underneath variety). The Bucs won because their offense was efficient in this game, but it was not explosive. Jackson did help on one second half pass play where it appeared the defender was about to intercept the ball, but instead Jackson stepped in front of it and wrestled it away for a first down catch.
Week 11 - Vincent Jackson thrived in the fourth quarter as the Bucs managed to put together a game-tying and subsequent game-winning drive on the back of his catches. The Panthers’ pass rush caused a lot of problems in the first three-and-a-half quarters, but they tired in the waning moments. As a result, Freeman had more time to find Jackson on quick slants, deep outs and the key play of the game. With less than twenty seconds remaining, Jackson ran a skinny post pattern. Freeman tossed a beautiful pass between three Panther defenders just underneath the goalposts. Jackson caught it in traffic and tapped both feet in a wonderful show of hands and body control. The pass was incredible, but the catch was a thing of beauty. Up against rookie CB Josh Norman for most of the day, Jackson used his route-running savvy to get open, but the rookie held his ground as well. It was an impressive display from the veteran.
Week 12 - Jackson's first reception came from receiver Mike Williams on a gadget play when he was wide open down the field. Jackson caught a 20 yard pass just shy of the endzone. The pass was slightly underthrown, but Jackson likely wouldn't have made the endzone either way. He didn't catch his first pass from Josh Freeman until the third quarter when he beat a defender deep down the left sideline and extended for the ball while keeping his feet inbounds. It was an excellent catch between the deep safety and cornerback he had lost underneath. Freeman was almost intercepted when he tried to hit Jackson deep and the receiver couldn't react to an underthrown pass, before the duo connected again on first and 21 when Jackson ran a crossing route before catching a 10 yard pass with a defender on his back. Later in the same drive, Freeman hit Jackson on an in route for 11 yards on second and 10. When the Falcons blitzed Freeman on a three step drop, Jackson was wide open on a quick out route for a first down and a 10 yard gain.
Week 13 - While the uniform he donned may be different, the result on the field was very similar for Jackson. Just as he was when he was with the Chargers, Champ Bailey shadowed Jackson for the majority of the game, resulting in eight targets, but only three catches (with two coming in garbage time). Jackson did have a nice 18-yard grab early in the game, faking the block on a quick screen before working the sideline (and taking a shot in as he extended), but didn’t record another catch until the game was well at hand. Jackson’s next catch went for 12 yards, a short curl over the middle. The following drive, Jackson picked up his long for the day, a 24-yard catch over the middle. The same drive, Jackson did finally get behind the coverage, but Freeman underthrew Jackson and Rahim Moore was able to just get a hand up and tip the ball away. Jackson was standing on the goal line as the ball hit Moore’s hand and ricocheted off the WR’s shoulder pads, saving what would have been a TD for Jackson.
Week 14 - Jackson was the highlight player in the Tampa Bay passing game against Philadelphia. He showed off his downfield ball skills on a gorgeous full-extension catch for 40 yards. Jackson also converted his lone red zone opportunity, catching a slant and barreling into the end zone after the catch. Jackson’s productive day could have been quite a bit better if not for the struggles of Josh Freeman. Jackson shook free on two different occasions on deep routes, but was overthrown both times. Those missed opportunities prevented Jackson’s 130-yard day from being close to 200 against the Eagles. Next week, Jackson gets a New Orleans secondary that he lit up for 7/216/1 earlier in the season.
Week 15 - Jackson led the offense in every statistical category, including 12 targets. However, his first catch did not come until late in the 3rd quarter as all his numbers can be attributed to garbage time. On that same drive Jackson picked up four of his six catches. Jackson’s biggest play was a target in the first half that saw Freeman expecting him to break his route in and resulted in Freeman’s 2nd INT. Jackson just missed a TD early in the 4th quarter as Freeman threw him a jump ball in the end zone, but Greer made one of his many fine defensive plays, elevating and deflecting the ball away from Jackson.
Week 16 - Jackson had fewer mistakes than his counterpart, instead suffering more from Freeman’s inaccuracy. Three of Jackson’s seven catches came on Tampa’s first drive, when Freeman was able to stand in the pocket and deliver crisp balls to his receivers. Jackson was able to contribute in the short and medium passing game, catching one great throw over the middle and showing strong hands to hold on the catch while taking a heavy hit. Freeman also targeted Jackson repeatedly in the end zone, but often overthrew the large receiver. Jackson also caught a couple of wide receiver screens, but neither was well blocked and Jackson was forced to use his power to bully his way past tacklers. Jackson’s long catch of 41 yards came on a broken play, as Freeman scrambled Jackson cut inside on a deep route and Freeman hit the wide receiver in stride. With a lot of space ahead of him, Jackson was able to sprint through and get Tampa in the red zone. Jackson also contributed another catch on a well executed play-action rollout, catching in space and turning up field. Unfortunately for Jackson, his high number of targets weren’t all catchable, as Freeman often threw the ball too far or straight out of bounds, not giving Jackson the opportunity to make a play.
Week 17 - Jackson saw his fewest targets since Week 9 and many of those targets were not all that accurate from Josh Freeman against Atlanta. Most of his targets were low throws, the opposite of what you want to see for such a big, imposing target on the outside. Freeman led Jackson across the field on a crossing route and right into a huge hit early in the game. It could have been called a helmet-to-helmet penalty, but nevertheless, his quarterback led him right into a big collision. Jackson was underthrown on his two deep targets, neither being thrown up high where he can do his biggest damage. Two of Jackson’s catches came on additional low throws, digging them out and turning them into big plays. One Jackson turned up field for a 27-yard gain and the other converted a clutch third-and-long with six minutes to go. After a very strong start to the season, Jackson finishes with just one touchdown over the final six games and caught less than half of his gaudy 147 targets for the year. While nearly 1,400 yards and eight touchdowns can hardly be called a disappointment, Freeman and Jackson clearly have some work to do in the offseason to get on the same page.