The scouting report on wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who left the San Diego Chargers this past offseason to sign a lucrative free agency deal with the Buccaneers, is that he brought a lethal combination of size, a long-strider’s deceptive speed, outstanding body control and sure hands.
Buccaneer fans have already seen those traits in action, as they have helped Jackson produce a 19.0 yards-per-catch figure (sixth in the NFL) and constant first-down production (14 of his 16 receptions). Many observers may not have noticed, however, how thoroughly Jackson has proved that last assessment correct. The Bucs’ new number-one receiver has been so sure-handed through the first month of play that he has yet to suffer a dropped pass.
That puts Jackson among the NFL’s best when it comes to catching everything within range. There are only five players in the league who have been targeted at least 30 times so far this year and have yet to drop a pass. Minnesota’s Percy Harvin has 48 targets without a drop, Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson has 46 and the Bucs’ Jackson is next with 38 (all statistics courtesy of Statspass). Indianapolis’ Donnie Avery and Baltimore’s Torrey Smith round out the top five.
Tampa Bay’s passing attack has still not reached its full potential, obviously, even in the potentially prolific connection between Jackson and quarterback Josh Freeman. The Bucs would surely like to improve on their 42.1% completion rate when throwing it in Jackson’s direction. Still, he is catching what he can, and providing good yardage with those opportunities. Of all the players in the NFL who have still not dropped a single pass, Jackson is fourth with 304 receiving yards.