SANTA CLARA — Defensive end Drake Jackson registered three sacks in the 49ers’ Week 1 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That performance opened the eyes of Dallas Cowboys star linebacker Micah Parsons, who had some flattering words about Jackson on his podcast.
“That was pretty cool,” Jackson said Wednesday. “Shout-out to Micah Parsons for that, man. That’s a real good shout-out, especially from one of the most prolific pass-rushers in the league.”
Jackson said he really does not know Parsons, so the praise caught him by surprise.
“Yeah, it did because (he’s) a guy from another team, and just to see they’re paying attention in the league, that’s real cool,” Jackson said.
On his podcast, “The Edge with Micah Parsons,” 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, put the spotlight on Jackson after the 49ers’ 30-7 victory in Pittsburgh.
“A guy that no one’s talking about. Drake Jackson,” Parsons said. “He had three sacks. Why is no one talking about Drake Jackson?
“So don’t let these guys that get thrown in that sunlight because (Jackson) is surrounding guys like Nick Bosa and Fred Warner, and guys like that because they’re loaded with such a great team. I think he’s a person I’m going to have to look out for.”
If the regular-season opener is any indication, the entire NFL will have to look out for Jackson.
And it began from Jackson’s first snap of the game, when he entered for a third-and-5 play to replace starting defensive end Clelin Ferrell. The second-year pro threw Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett for a 10-yard loss.
“The first third down, that’s crazy,” Jackson said. “We’re trying to do that every time, though. For it to happen the first time sets it up for everything that comes after that.”
And what came after that was two more sacks, matching Jackson’s season-long total while appearing in 15 games during his rookie year.
RELATED: Bosa hilariously jealous of Jackson’s three-sack performance
Could that be a sign of things to come for Jackson? Jackson spent his entire offseason working out at the 49ers’ facility in order to put on weight and get stronger for the rigors of an NFL season.
“I hope it showed,” Jackson said. “I just do what I can. More of that to come, hopefully.”
Christine Lake is a sports fanatic who lives and breathes athletics. With an extensive background in sports journalism, he covers everything from major league championships to grassroots sports events. When she’s not on the field or at the stadium, you’ll find Christine coaching youth sports teams.