Jackson shines at NFL combine

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The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine took place over four days in Indianapolis this past week. Two UB football alumni, quarterback Tyree Jackson and wide receiver Anthony Johnson, each took to the field in Lucas Oil Stadium to perform.

Jackson’s choice to enter the draft initially came as a surprise to many. Jackson was in the NCAA transfer portal with his sights set on leaving Buffalo. Many thought he would need another year in college to refine his skills.

Jackson proved some doubters right during the combine and was criticized by former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith for throwing the ball too hard during drills. Jackson also struggled with locating the ball to the receivers.

His physical attributes were encouraging for him. Jackson stands at 6 feet 7 inches and is the tallest quarterback in this year’s draft. He wowed scouts and showed flashes of potential.

Jackson ran a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash, the second fastest time for all quarterbacks. He also recorded the highest vertical at 34.5 inches and highest broad jump at 10 feet. Jackson was fifth in the three-cone drill at 7.09 seconds and fifth in the 20-yard shuttle at 4.28 seconds.

Jackson weighed in at 249 pounds, his hands measured at 10 1/4 inches, his arms 34 1/4 inches and wingspan of 83 3/4 inches. All were the top measurements at his position.

He has been compared to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen because of his size. Jackson has been working with the same trainer as Allen, Jordan Palmer.

“Just continue to prove that I’m a great player and that I’m ready to play in the NFL,” Jackson said at his Friday press conference. “For me, it’s all about competing, so I’m going to do every single drill. I’m going to throw. I’m going to do it all. I’m just a competitor and I want to show that.”

Johnson didn’t make nearly as much of a splash as Jackson.

Johnson is a big, physical receiver at 6 foot 2 inches and 209 pounds and used that size to put up eye-popping numbers of 133 catches for 2,367 yards and 25 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

Johnson did not run the 40-yard dash. A good time could solidify him as an early pick.

Johnson says he will run it on UB’s pro-day on March 13.

Johnson finished eighth in the bench press with 18 reps and caught every pass during the wide receiver gauntlet.

Sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com.