Scout- Rusty Miller
Weight: 240 lbs
Initial Quickness 4.80 Very slow getting to line of scrimmage on blitzes. Does not possess the quick-twitch ability to make moves around linemen. Rush with Leverage 5.80 Probably his only way to rush, Jefferson does use his frame well to lean into blockers and get pressure on the quarterback. Pass Rush Moves 3.40 Not a very good pass rusher. Has some speed that allows him to get around the edge but needs to develop a better repertoire of moves to get past linemen. Pressure/Sack Consistency 5.60 The sack production wasn’t there but when he blitzes he does put consistent pressure on the quarterback especially when blitzing up the middle.
Pass Rush Ability 6.53
Pass Drops 6.60 Does a good job of getting back into coverage. Needs to get lower in order to backpedal faster. Hasn’t had to flip his hips and turn to run with receivers much and he probably is a little tight in this area. Coverage Awareness 7.50 Does well in being aware of his coverage area while in zone. Does have to be a bit faster to get to backs coming out of the backfield. M/M Coverage 6.80 Average in man coverage. Has the speed to stay with receivers across the middle and cover running backs. Zone Coverage 7.00 Can play multiple zone coverage schemes: Cover 1, 2, 3 and 4. Has the ability and speed to spy the quarterback.Coverage 6.98
Against The Run 6.56
Play with Leverage 6.60 He utilizes his frame in the run game when getting blocked by wide receivers. Doesn’t have the strength to get off of linemen especially when double-teamed. Stack and Shed 5.70 Again, he does not possess enough strength to get off of offensive linemen in the run game. But has had success in some situations with shedding blockers when blocked one-on-one. Run at Him 6.20 Gets blocked and caught up in traffic when the ball comes at him particularly when facing a zone run scheme. Runs Away 6.80 Does a quality job of pursuing from the backside of plays and makes quite a good amount of plays from that side. Tackling/Hitting 7.50 Very fundamentally sound tackler. Wraps up and drives through the ball carrier and rarely makes arm tackles.
Toughness 7.10 Very tough and likes to get into the line of scrimmage. Doesn’t have any major injury concerns and hasn’t missed many games in his career. Production 6.50 A great junior season upped his production level with over 100 tackles. But he has had solid production even as a freshman and sophomore with more than 60 tackles in each season. Consistency/Motor 5.60 Needs to show more consistent work ethic on the field. Has a tendency to slow down on plays before they’re finished.
Instincts 6.70 Does a good job of recognizing plays most of the time but does misread especially on misdirection plays. Learn/Retain 5.70 Has adequate knowledge of the defense he ran at Texas. He doesn’t seem to have the ability to change play calls based on the offensive formation. Concentration 5.40 There are reports of his lack of love for the game. There is a definite lack of effort seen on certain plays.
A very good, athletic linebacker with positional versatility. A well-timed blitzer and gets solid pressure on quarterbacks with A gap blitzes. Can cover well in both man and zone but can also spy the quarterback too. Is a downhill runner against the run. Does very well to find the running hole and meet the running back there to make the tackle. Is fundamentally sound in his tackling as seen in his 100+ tackle season in 2017.
Is slow getting to the line of scrimmage during pass rush situations. Slows down when pursuing and essentially gives up on some plays. Does not possess a bevy of pass rush moves and is most effectively used as a blitzer to create pressure in the pocket. Has tight hips when tasked to run with receivers in man coverage. Does not have the strength to shed linemen when they get into his body.
Jefferson is an athletic inside linebacker with the ability to become a 2-down player and possibly develop into a 3-down linebacker. He will need to improve his strength and hand usage to be able to fight off blockers at the next level. He’ll also need to show he can run with receivers and cover them in man coverage. If he runs well at the Scouting Combine and shows he can be competent in coverage it will definitely upgrade his draft stock. The reports about his lack of love for the sport are troubling but those worries can be washed away with one-on-one interviews with the teams. Is best suited as a 3–4 inside linebacker or a 4–3 outside linebacker because of his quickness to get to the edge when unblocked on outside plays. I project Jefferson as a 3rd to 5th round pick. Depending on what happens with the Combine, he could slide up into the second round and depending on how teams feel about his confidence and attitude towards playing the sport.