2021 NFL Draft Profile: RB Jermar Jefferson
It’s not every day that you see freshman running backs come out and put up over 1,300 total yards and 12 touchdowns. Jermar Jefferson broke onto the national scene in 2018 and caught people’s attention with that dominant season.
While the production never jumped back up to 2018 levels over the next two years, Jefferson was certainly still effective, and he has his fans heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. With great play speed, instincts, and burst, he could make a name for himself in today’s NFL.
How will NFL teams view the talented RB out of Oregon State, though? Does his tape and athletic testing warrant consideration for significant draft capital?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Jermar Jefferson:
Weight: 206 lbs.
Arms: 30 1/2
Hands: 9 5/8
40-Yard Dash: 4.55
Vertical Jump: 31
Broad Jump: 115
Short Shuttle: 4.38
3-Cone Drill: 7.38
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Vision (72): Jefferson’s an explosive play waiting to happen at the RB position. He’s a smooth runner between the tackles and can quickly identify the running lane and explode through it. He’s unlikely to create for himself, so he lives and dies by what his offensive line can open up for him but shows good decisiveness and ability to scan the line for running lanes quickly.
Burst (77): Excellent short-area burst and acceleration through the hole. Able to put his foot in the ground and explode upfield.
Change of Direction (76.5): Excellent change of direction ability and lateral mobility. Able to keep his legs moving laterally and still maintain momentum.
Power (71.5): Very little power aspect to his game. Willing to engage with defenders at the second level and lower his shoulder to pick up additional yardage but does not seek out contact.
Speed (78): Fantastic top-end speed and able to pull away from nearly any defender once he sees daylight. He should run very well at his Pro Day.
Contact Balance (72.5): Average contact balance ability. Very few examples of broken tackles on film. Tends to go down pretty easily once a defender makes contact.
Pass Catching (70): Average pass-catcher. May be viewed by NFL coaches as a change-of-pace back at the next level, which means that he’ll need to improve his natural pass-catching prowess. He tended to rely on body catches and had a few drops on tape.
Pass Protection (70): Certainly willing to stand in pass protection but doesn’t have the necessary size or foundation to be a true factor in pass pro. He can get in the way of blitzing LBs, but he won’t be able to stand his own for very long.
If you’re looking for an explosive play from the RB position, Jermar Jefferson can hang with the best of them. pic.twitter.com/6vO0fUXmej
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) February 17, 2021
JERMAR JEFFERSON 82-YARD ????????pic.twitter.com/WNifEmrY01
– PFF Draft (@PFF_College) November 28, 2020
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
Based on his tape, Jefferson’s shown that he has enough to be a key part of a rotational backfield in the NFL. However, the tape left questions as to his overall athleticism. Unfortunately, the testing numbers don’t indicate that Jefferson is an explosive athlete. The NFL prefers to bet on players with top-tier athleticism on day 3 of the Draft, which means that we might not see Jefferson go off the board until round 5 or later.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
Due to the projected draft range, there isn’t necessarily an ideal landing spot for Jefferson to make his mark. He’s going to have to work his way up a depth chart in the NFL – or have an injury to a player in front of him – to be fantasy relevant.
Mike Gillislee was 5’11/208 coming out of Florida, and he ran a 4.55 40-yard dash at the Combine, which are nearly identical numbers to Jefferson. He also put up 15 reps on the bench press to Jefferson’s 13, he leaped 30.5 inches in the vertical jump to Jefferson’s 31, he soared 119 inches compared to 115 for Jefferson, and Gillislee was slightly faster in the 3-Cone Drill. They run in a very similar fashion, and they might both face the same path in the NFL of trying to hang onto one of the last spots on an NFL depth chart.
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