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J.C. Jackson: Goal is to be a No. 1 corner, don’t feel I’m there yet

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons react to the Carolina Panthers jumping on a Stephon Gilmore trade with the New England Patriots and preventing the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers from filling a need at cornerback.

The Patriots traded Stephon Gilmore to the Panthers this week and that leaves J.C. Jackson as the top cornerback in New England.

On Thursday, Jackson was asked about what he learned from playing with Gilmore and said it was “the mentality he had to go out and compete every week facing the No. 1 receiver.” He said it was something he tries to emulate because he wants to be a “No. 1 corner” in the NFL and doesn’t feel that he’s reached that level to this point.

“No, I’m not there yet. I’m not there yet,” Jackson said, via Chris Mason of “I’ve still got work to do. I’ve still got to improve. I’ve still got a lot to improve. So I feel like, I don’t want to get too complacent. I’ll never tell myself I’m there yet. So that’s what keeps me motivated and keeps me rolling.”

Jackson has been doing much of what Gilmore was asked to do during the first four weeks of the season and the trade means he’ll get a lot more chances to show that he can be the kind of cornerback he wants to be.