Ravens draft cornerback Asa Jackson in Round 5
The Ravens picked cornerback Asa Jackson of Cal Poly with their 5th round pick (No. 169 overall) in the 2012 NFL draft. (Cal Poly athletics / April 28, 2012)
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The pick continues a Day Three trend of the Ravens selecting small-school players. In the fourth round, the Ravens took Delaware guard Gino Gradkowski and South Carolina State free safety Christian Thompson.
Jackson, who is 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, will join Baltimore's stable of young cornerbacks that includes Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith, and Cary Williams. He made eight interceptions during his Cal Poly career.
He returned kicks and punts, which was presumably part of the appeal. The Ravens have said that they would like to add an explosive return specialist in the draft, and Jackson averaged 14.7 yards on punt returns and 25.1 returning kickoffs. They also want players who can help improve their special teams coverage units.
Jackson was the second of two compensatory picks for the Ravens. They took Thompson with the 130th pick. The Ravens have one pick each in the sixth and seventh rounds. The draft should wrap up around 6 p.m.