SOTT Draft Profile: Alshon Jeffery
The next few weeks here on State of the Texans we will be doing some draft profiles of some particular players who could possibly fit into the Texans plans. We are not going to try to piece together scouting reports, but we enlist help of bloggers who actually cover the respective player and their school.
We enlist the help of John Havard from the Garnett and Black Attack, a SB Nation blog dedicated to the South Carolina Gamecocks. We ask John some questions about potential first round pick, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who seems to be gaining momentum and intrigue across draft boards. The Junior wideout is a big question mark among Texans fans, but we look to find out more about the 6’4″ 229 lbs. wide receiver.
Can you give us some background on Jeffery how he got to South Carolina?
Jeffery is from St. Matthews, SC, not too far from Columbia in the SC Low Country. His recruitment was somewhat dramatic. He committed early in the recruiting process to Southern Cal but switched to South Carolina late in the cycle. He was also highly recruited by Tennessee and Lane Kiffin. His commitment was part of a surprisingly strong finish to the 2009 class, which has ended up helping South Carolina to record-breaking success.
What did Jeffery’s time playing with the Gamecocks mean to South Carolina?
Apart from being a successful player on the field, another thing that Jeffery has meant to South Carolina is that he, along with a few other recent recruits, has proven that blue-chip prospects aren’t making a mistake by coming to South Carolina. Jeffery had to go against conventional wisdom to choose South Carolina; after all, players like Jeffery go to places like Southern Cal or Tennessee, not South Carolina, right? Now that recruits have seen Jeffery compete for titles, break records, make All-America lists, and earn a good draft profile, they know they can come to Carolina and be stars too. Jeffery has had a huge impact for us in that regard.
What are Jeffery’s strengths and weaknesses?
His strengths are his size, hands, and ability to catch the ball in traffic. Because of his size and hands, Jeffery is the kind of player who is open even when he’s not; he’s going to make the catch even when he’s covered well because defenders can’t make a play on the ball as well as he will. I’d say he’s an average route-runner; he improved in that in 2010 but his progress seemed to stall this past year. It’s something he needs to keep working on. Speed is also something of a weakness. He’s not as slow as he looks on tape (he has a “lumbering” running style that makes him look slow), but he’s not fast enough to get consistent separation from good defensive backs
How does he project to you at the NFL level?
I think he projects as a strong possession and red-zone receiver in the NFL. If he keeps working on route-running, he’ll have all the tools necessary to help an NFL team move the chains, and he’s deadly in the red zone because of his ability to go up and get the ball in traffic. I’m not sure, though, if I think he’ll be an All-Pro-type receiver in the NFL. It remains to be seen if his speed is good enough for that, or if he can compensate for not getting separation in the NFL like he did in college.
I keep seeing an all or nothing description with Jeffery, is that accurate?
I don’t think he’s an all-or-nothing pick; I’m fairly certain he will have a solid NFL career as a possession receiver. Any team that drafts him with that in mind will get a good return on its investment. My question is whether or not he’s going to consistently be someone who can catch for over 1000 yards a year. That I don’t know.
Would Jeffery be a steal at #26 for the Texans?
I think 26 is about right. For the time being, I don’t think Jeffery has the sure-fire superstar potential to go too early in the first round, but he’s a good late-round pick for a team like the Texans who have a good team and just need to fill a need en route to a championship run.
Try Not to get too excited with these highlights of Jeffery.