Jackson's very close to being a first-rounder

Updated: February 19, 2010, 4:15 PM ET
By Kevin Weidl, Scouts Inc.
As the NFL combine approaches, here is a look at three players who could really solidify their draft stock with good showings, and strong 40-yard dash times in particular.

Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
He has been climbing draft boards due to his incredible man coverage skills. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder always keeps his feet underneath him and has great balance, and scouts love his anticipation skills, which were on display in Week 6 versus Mississippi. In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Jevan Snead dropped back to pass and tried to complete a slant to WR Shay Hodge, but Jackson stepped in front and intercepted the pass at the 5-yard line. Then Jackson showed great short-area burst and returned it 79 yards; he eventually was dragged down at the Rebels' 16-yard line. Jackson also has an uncanny ability to mirror receivers in coverage, and if he runs the 40 in less than 4.5 seconds at the combine, he will solidify himself as a first-round pick.

David Reed, WR, Utah
Reed is a very tough receiver with the ability to separate from his defender. He does a great job getting in and out of his breaks, and we like his initial burst. Plus, his toughness is always on display; he doesn't shy from the big hit or duck out of bounds. He is constantly looking to run someone over, and if he records a 40 time of less than 4.5 seconds, or even in the low 4.5-second range, don't be surprised to hear Reed's name called in Round 3 on draft day.