It's weird to see one of your idols turn into "that one old ead," but that's exactly what happened when Bo Jackson estimated how many yards he would average if he was in his prime in today's NFL.
During a recent appearance on Deion Sanders' podcast 21st and Prime, Jackson critiqued the way defense is played in today's NFL. He explained that defenders are not using fundamentals when they go in for tackles, giving him the impression that he would demolish opponents if he was still playing.
"Nobody wraps up and tackle no more," Bo said per NBC's Pro Football Talk. "It’s like this – and I watch technique – I don’t see nobody hitting or wrapping up. Everybody’s running into each other and trying to use their shoulder pads to knock the ball carrier down. And I’m like, if I played during this era, man, I’d be averaging 350-400 yards a game . . . because nobody wraps up anymore. They run into each other with their pads."
There's no doubt that Jackson was a freakish athlete in his day. Similar to Deion Sanders, Jackson played pro baseball and pro football. But unlike Prime Time, Jackson was able to be a standout in both arenas, being crowned an NFL Pro-Bowler and an MLB All-Star. Still, Jackson never averaged 100 yards per game before sustaining a career-ending hip injury. Also, it should be noted that he was around when the NFL was still mostly a single formation, ground-and-pound league—not like the spread style we see today.
Since Jackson wouldn't get nearly as many touches in today's NFL, along with natural evolution and scientific advancements making players faster, stronger, and more advanced, it's safe to say that this is a rare case in which Bo doesn't know.