Justin Jefferson of the LSU Tigers
If you focused on the first half of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, two things became apparent pretty quickly. First, LSU is one hell of a team, and they are more than worthy of the top seed in the College Football Playoff. Second, Justin Jefferson is a baller.
Leading up to Saturday’s game, the all-time record for receiving touchdowns in any FBS Bowl game was four. Jefferson achieved that feat in less than two quarters of football. Jefferson’s brilliant play has buzzed with the internet and scouts debating about his prospects to the next level.
Expect Matt Miller’s Bleacher Report to return to the draw board following Jefferson’s Peach Bowl performance. In Miller’s latest NFL Draft Big Board 2020, he included Jefferson as the 11th-best receiver in the draft class.
WalterFootball is Jefferson coming onto the board in the second round of this year’s upcoming NFL Draft. In WalterFootball’s most recent Mock Draft, Jefferson came in 49th overall with the Chicago Bears.
Here at Heavy, we have a pretty positive outlook on Jefferson’s draft stock. In our 2020 NFL Mock Draft: CFB Playoff Edition, we played Jefferson in the first round, 31st overall on theSaints, giving Michael Thomas the running mate in New Orleans.
ESPN’s Todd McShay is one of the other “draft experts” to support our belief that Jefferson was a spin-off of a prospect before the Peach Bowl. In McShay’s most recent draft pick, he put Jefferson in 15th overall with the Indianapolis Colts
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NFL Draft Profile by Justin Jefferson
Advantages: Jefferson puts on a legitimate size WR1, standing at 6 ‘3 and about 200 pounds. He holds a solid pace for a player of his size, averaging nearly 15 yards per reception the past two seasons. He has shown steady improvement every year at LSU, largely consistent with consistency and ability to get in and out of routes. His size and production (24 receiving touchdowns from 2018-2019) should convert well to become a legitimate threat to the redzone at the next level.
Cons: Jefferson is more of a strider, choosing speed over time, rather than a truly dynamic athlete. This time around, he was a bit slow in the scrimmage line. Due to the speed of his game, he can challenge himself in many visible situations to catch. He needs to figure out how to better utilize his 6’3 ”frame to upset defenders, while being more aggressive in receiving. He also showed lapses in concentration, leading to a fall, especially in 2018.
Draft Planning: Late 1st Round to Early 2nd Round
Jefferson may lack the true athletic change of the game to operate on the upper-echelon of this wide receiver, made up of names like Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III. However, he is in the second tier, and he should see himself come off the board late in the first round. He has a high-end WR2 upside down, and immediately affects the redzone which acts as a weight receiver.
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