|No. 23 – Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Born:||October 27, 1992|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||189 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Wheatley (Houston)|
|NFL Draft:||2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 8, 2022|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
William Jackson III (born October 27, 1992) is an American football cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Houston Cougars and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Jackson was born on October 27, 1992 and grew up in the Fifth Ward area of Houston, Texas alongside a brother and three sisters. He attended and played football at Wheatley High School in the city, where he was teammates with fellow NFL cornerback Xavien Howard. Jackson was considered a three-star prospect by Rivals.com. He accepted a scholarship to play college football at the University of Houston.
Jackson attended Trinity Valley Community College for his freshman year before transferring to the University of Houston for his sophomore year. As a senior in 2015, he broke up 23 passes and had five interceptions.
With a deep cornerback class going into the combine, many analysts were more focused on Vernon Hargreaves III, Jalen Ramsey, and Mackensie Alexander, regarding them as the top players at their position and had Jackson as a second round selection. Jackson attended the NFL Combine but was unable to finish all the drills at the combine after suffering cramps. On March 31, 2016, Jackson attended Houston's Pro Day. He was projected to be an early round pick in the draft at the conclusion of the pre-draft.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand span||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Broad jump||Bench press|
|6 ft 0+3⁄8 in
|4.37 s||1.56 s||2.52 s||4.32 s||6.86 s||9 ft 8 in
|All values from NFL Combine and Houston Cougars pro day.|
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Jackson in the first round (24th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. On June 10, 2016, Jackson signed his four-year, $9.07 million rookie contract with the team. Throughout training camp, Jackson competed to be the Bengals' third cornerback on the depth chart against Darqueze Dennard. During camp Jackson had suffered a torn pectoral muscle and would have to undergo surgery, leading him to miss his entire rookie season after he was placed on injured reserve prior to Week 1.
Returning fully healthy in 2017, he made his debut in the season-opener against the Baltimore Ravens and made two solo tackles and a pass deflection in a loss. In Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers, Jackson recorded four solo tackles, a pass deflection, and returned an interception off a pass by quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a 75-yard touchdown. With the interception, he became just the second player in NFL history to return one thrown by Rodgers for a touchdown. In Week 7, Jackson earned his first career start after Adam Jones was inactive due to a back injury. In Week 10, he recorded two solo tackles and made his first career sack during a 24–20 loss at the Tennessee Titans. He was inactive for the Bengals' Week 11 victory at the Denver Broncos due to a toe injury. Jackson became a starting cornerback again for the Bengals' in Week 14 after Jones was placed on injured reserve due to a groin injury. In Week 15, he collected a season-high five combined tackles during a 34–7 loss at the Minnesota Vikings. Jackson finished the 2017 season with 27 tackles, 14 pass deflections, a sack, an interception, and a touchdown.
Throughout training camp, Jackson competed against Darqueze Dennard to be a starting cornerback. Head coach Marvin Lewis named Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick the starting cornerbacks to begin the regular season.
In April 2019, the Bengals picked up the fifth-year option on Jackson's contract. In Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, Jackson recorded his first interception of the season off Jimmy Garoppolo in the 41-17 loss. He was placed on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury in December 2019. He finished the season with 37 tackles, three passes defensed, and an interception.
Jackson recorded an interception off a pass thrown by Baker Mayfield in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns.
Jackson signed a three-year, $40.5 million contract with the Washington Commanders (still known as the Washington Football Team at the time) on March 19, 2021. He recorded his first interception with Washington in the season opener against Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. In the Week 10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jackson recorded his second interception of the season off a pass thrown by Tom Brady after safety Kamren Curl popped the ball loose from Buccaneers receiver Jaelon Darden. Jackson missed the final two games of the 2021 season due to a calf injury then being placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on January 5, 2022.
In Week 5 of the 2022 season, Jackson was benched in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans. Jackson stated he left the game due to a bulging disc in his back, but head coach Ron Rivera stated "We just decided to make a change" when asked by media to confirm Jackson's claim. Jackson was reported to request a trade from the team on October 13, 2022.
|2016||CIN||0||0||Did not play due to injury|