Texans draft 'Bama CB Jackson in first round

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This* article is part of our 2010 Path to the Draft coverage presented by FOX Sports Houston*.

The Texans selected University of Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson (5-10, 196) with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

Jackson, an underclassman, started 40 of 41 games in his Alabama career. Texans defensive coordinator Frank Bush said he'll immediately compete to start at right cornerback, a spot that opened up when Dunta Robinson left in free agency.

"We felt like this guy could come into OTAs, get the training and learn the defense and be ready to go play football," Bush said. "There were not a lot of holes, per-se, in his game.

"The more you watched him, the more you liked him. The kid's got tremendous ball skills. He's got quick feet. He will come up and tackle you. He showed some leadership on the field. There was emotion, there was passion, and at the end of the day, he played for Nick Saban, so you know he's tough."

The Texans like Jackson's toughness and the fact that he comes from a winning college program, like 2009 first-round draft pick Brian Cushing.

{QUOTE}Cornerbacks Kyle Wilson of Boise State and Devin McCourty of Rutgers also were available, but Bush called Jackson the "most complete and game-ready to come play in the National Football League" of the three prospects.

Jackson was watching the draft with more than 70 family members and friends in Macon, Ga., when the Texans called to say they were going to draft him. It was so loud in his house that he couldn't even hear the name of the Texans representative on the phone.

"It's a dream come true for us," Jackson said in a conference call with Houston media, barely audible over jubliant screams in the background. "I'm very excited right now. I couldn't be a part of a better family than with the Texans. I have a guy I played with in Antoine Caldwell who told me it's a great organization to be with, so I'm very excited. I'm ready to come in and help in any way I can."

Jackson said that his biggest asset is his physicality.

"I'm going to be real feisty out there on that corner," he said. "I'm going to be real physical, so receivers are going to know I'm there. I'm going to do whatever it takes to make plays out there."

Playing for the national champion Crimson Tide last season, Jackson had 49 tackles, one interception and 13 pass deflections. Alabama allowed 166 passing yards per game in 2009, ranking 10th in the nation.

"Coming from a pro-style defense, a lot of the NFL teams ran the same thing that we ran, just different terminology," Jackson said. "I think we're very prepared mentally and physically. I always have things to improve on. I'm just ready to get to work."

Follow Nick Scurfield on Twitter at *twitter.com/NickScurfield or find him on the "I'm A Texan Club" at imatexan.com/profiles/Nick_Scurf/.*

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