March 21, 2018

Player Spotlight: Willie Jefferson

This week’s player spotlight is on an undrafted free agent that came in as a long shot and took full advantage of his opportunities by flashing time after time with his speed and explosion. He has been talked about all throughout training camp and now has made the final 53 man roster. In case you haven’t heard of him, his name is Willie Jefferson.


Willie Jefferson

Willie Jefferson

It’s not often that undrafted players make an NFL roster. In most cases, it’s virtually impossible and the odds of finding several undrafted free agents has to be borderline insane. As of late, the Houston Texans are to be commended on how their scouting department has been able to find these diamonds in the rough. This particular prospect is one that made a couple of position changes in his collegiate career until he found one that stuck. Jefferson started off as a wide receiver at Baylor then later changed to a tight end, only to end up as a defensive end at Stephen F. Austin. When Jefferson was brought in during the offseason, there were several things about him that were intriguing.


For instance, he had height at 6’5″, speed and fluidity in his movements. The only thing that was immediately lacking was his weight, which was only 233 lbs. Throughout rookie mini-camp and into training camp, Jefferson’s name started becoming a topic of conversation. Jefferson would flash great explosion off the edge and the raw tools of a potential pass rusher. He would then be tested in one on ones which shows how effective you are with your hands, as well as pass rush moves. For such a raw player, Jefferson showed well and showed the potential to be even better when he went up against All-Pro lineman Duane Brown. The biggest improvements Jefferson will need to make will be setting the edge, learning to shed blocks with better hand use and converting his speed to power.


This year will be a big year for Jefferson as he will get valuable reps throughout the season. I believe that after this season is over Jefferson will go into the offseason and train, come back stronger, more sound against the run and heavier. I think his ideal playing weight will be around 255 lbs. My bold prediction is that Jefferson and rookie Sam Montgomery will be competing for the starting position opposite Whitney Mercilus. I also predict that Jefferson will be starting at outside linebacker and Brooks Reed will be moved to the inside. Is this possible? Sure. Will it happen? That remains to be seen. For now, we will be looking forward to see what undrafted free agents the Texans will bring in because we know one of them will probably become a starter.


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