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Published on 07/14/2008 at Mon Jul 14 17:03.
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Nate Jackson

Nate Jackson
Name: Nate Jackson
Height, Weight: 6’3″, 235
Position: Tight End
Age, Experience: 29, 6
College: Menlo

Nate Jackson joined the Denver Broncos originally as a wide receiver via trade from San Francisco in 2003. An undrafted free agent with the 49ers in 2002, Jackson was resigned to the practice squad in 2003 upon his trade to the Broncos and spent 2004 with limited time outside of special teams work. He switched positions to tight end during the team’s 2005 training camp, playing in two games that season and recording no statistics. In 2006, Jackson played in 11 games and caught five passes. In 2007, he earned his first career start against San Diego, then quickly injured his groin and went on IR. He had caught his first touchdown pass two weeks earlier against Jacksonville.

The Good: Jackson has been a backup and special teamer for a long time for the Broncos, but he has yet to make a significant impact on the field. He has showed bits and pieces of promise, but those have been few and far between. 2007 was his best year, earning his first TD and first start, but even then he immediately injured himself, ending his season.

The Bad: Jackson has never played an entire 16-game season, and has yet to make a large impact on either the offense or special teams. Many fans, including myself, wonder why the Broncos re-signed Nate Jackson to a two-year, two million dollar deal this offseason. His nagging injuries have to be considered a red flag.

Status: Backup. Signed through 2008. I was fairly surprised when the Broncos re-signed him in March. Now I want to see a pay off for Mike Shanahan‘s faith in him. Nate Jackson was born on June 4, 1979, in San Jose, CA.

As always, we invite you, the readers, to partake. Are you excited about Nate Jackson in 2008, or expecting more of the same?

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  • E. Halsey Miles

    Jackson went to school right in my backyard, old Menlo College, something nobody outside of the area has ever heard of. (My workplace was close to it, which is the only reason I’ve heard of it.)

    He only came to the Broncos because Bill Walsh watched him play and really liked what he saw; when the Niners couldn’t keep him, Walsh made some calls and Shanahan agreed we could use him.

    As a wide receiver he was not successful in the NFL. Shanahan converted him to a tight end in 2005, but the weight gain took time to transition, so the 2005 and 2006 seasons were basically lost, but the team saw him progress.

    In 2007 he made the cut even with a very deep group of tight ends, and he makes an acceptable backup for Tony Scheffler, who currently has injury concerns, with his foot the way it is.

    For Jackson, the groin is the only injury I can actually remember. From his injury report it looks like he broke an ankle in ’04. The hamstring in ’05 was directly related to the weight gain in becoming a tight end. Since then the only significant injury was the groin pull which put him on IR. That’s not yet, IMO, enough to call them nagging injuries. And he has come on quite well as a tight end. I’m not sure what his special teams statistics are like, but that’s something else that could matter; if he’s considered a good player on special teams, that could enhance his value quite a bit.

    I think Shanahan sees some Shannon Sharpe in him; Sharpe had a similar beginning to his career, beginning as a wideout and converting to a tight end, and he’s hoping Jackson will go that same direction.

    In any case, Jackson is one of my personal favorites due to his writing on and just from being a local kid who went to a college that just isn’t known for producing NFL players (like, any. Ever.), and still managed to find a place in the NFL.