Georgia Tech Senior
Does a good job stepping up and filling against the inside run. Can take on the lead blocker on the hole and win the battle. Able to make the stop at the point of attack and will deliver a blow as a tackler. Does his best work downhill and attacking the line of scrimmage. Shows some burst upfield as a blitzer and can shoot gaps to make stop in the backfield.
Lacks speed and range and struggles when you get him in space. There is very little suddeness to his game and he lacks the closing burst to make stops in space. Struggles in coverage due to stiff hips and doesn't show speed to cover backs and tight ends over the middle. Lacks ball skills to turn and locate ball on the wheel route. Needs to get better depth on his zone drops, and doesn't show the awareness to read the QB and make a play on the pass in short zones. Gets caught in traffic too often at the point of attack and not going to make many plays outside the hashmarks. Will overpursue at times when he does get outside. Doesn't consistently win battles with blockers in the hole and needs to do a better job getting off blocks.
Jefferson is a capable two-down run defender that does a good job between the hashmarks, but is limited outside them and you question whether he'll ever develop there. Earned starting gig as a sophomore, but was limited by a dislocated wrist. Became full-time starter the past two years, combining for 173 tackles, 15.5 for loss, and 4 sacks. Plays strongside inside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. Hails from Wrightsville, GA.
Jefferson can play at the next level, he just may be too limited to really be more than a backup. For 3-4 teams looking for a thumper in the middle, he fits the bill. And while he does that fairly well, that's about all he does do. With time and development, he might improve enough in coverage that he could get by in stopgap situations, but I think he's too limited there to be expected to be a starter at the next level. Instead, I think he's a player that 3-4 teams should target for depth. And if he can perform on special teams, he'll add value to your roster and add depth. And in a couple of years, he should be developed and comfortable enough in the scheme, that he could be a competent stopgap starter in case of injury. The game is just too pass-oriented where you can think that you can hide his flaws in coverage and playing in space. If he can produce on special teams he'll have a nice career as an NFL backup. If not, then he'll go by the wayside quickly because the two-down run defender has only marginal value at this point in time.
Jefferson is comparable to Lofton in that he's limited in space and coverage, but even more so. Unless he shined on special teams, he would be hard-pressed to stick in Atlanta even as a reserve. And if he did, he is not the type of guy you want manning the MLB position.
Jefferson can potentailly add enough depth inside for a 3-4 team that they might look at him in the seventh round, but because of his lack of upside, he's better value in the undrafted market.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 3.5
Pass Rush: 2.5
Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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