NFL Draft Hype Machine: Alshon Jeffery

Alshon Jeffery NFL Draft

Alshon Jeffery NFL Draft

Once tabbed as a first round talent, Alshon Jeffery has seen his stock drop since being named one of the three finalists for the Fred Biletnikoff Award in 2010.  The perception of his fall by draft experts may not be warranted though.

Inconsistency is the theme when Jeffery’s name is mentioned.  His weight has also been a hot topic as he recently looks leaner compared to last season at South Carolina where his Under Armour garb looked like it was suffocating his upper torso.  Weight aside,  because Jeffery would have been a tight end in the NFL during the 1970’s and early  80’s due to his size, but he has the skill-set and speed to get behind corner backs when split wide.

Jeffery surprised some by weighing in at 216 lbs. during the NFL combine.  If anything, he is just big all-around, and he carries it well enough to also maintain decent speed for someone his size.

In addition to checking out his frame, NFL teams may also look at his decline in production from his sophomore to junior year.  After averaging 108.4 yards per contest in 2010, his average dropped to 51.2 per game in 2011.

A couple of reasons may attribute to why Jeffery’s numbers dropped.  South Carolina experienced quarterback issues last year with the relief effort of Connor Shaw of the now infamous career of Stephen Garcia, who may have had one of the bigger falls from grace of any player at a big-time program in recent years.  Garcia enjoyed a 64.2% completion percentage and 20 touchdowns in 2010 only to follow-up those numbers with 51.4% and four touchdown passes through the first five games before being jettisoned by Coach Steve Spurrier.  If anything, inconsistency is to blame towards the signal callers in Spurrier’s offense.

Another reason Jeffery seen his numbers decline was due to the injury of running back Marcus Lattimore, who was lost in mid-October.  Defensive coaches can scheme a bit easier when a star running back is absent from the lineup.  Their main goal is to then try to stop the pass first to see if the back-up rusher can break through the line.

Alshon Jeffery will most likely hear his named called on Friday night.  Based on draft history, Steve Spurrier coached teams will see a wide receiver likely drafted in the first few rounds.  A few of his former players have gone in the first round with the most productive receivers being round two picks.  I predict a team will take Jeffery early in round two.

Year Round (pick) Player Team
1991 3 (73) Ernie Mills Pittsburgh
1994 5 (138) Harrison Houston Atlanta
1994 4 (109) Willie Jackson Dallas
1995 4 (116) Jack Jackson Chicago
1996 6 (185) Chris Doering Jacksonville
1997 1 (16) Reidel Anthony Tampa Bay
1997 1 (7) Ike Hilliard NY Giants
1998 2 (34) Jacquez Green Tampa Bay
1999 3 (93) Travis McGriff Denver
2000 3 (80) Darrell Jackson Seattle
2000 1 (10) Travis Taylor Baltimore
2001 7 (208) John Capel Chicago
2002 2 (48) Reche Caldwell San Diego
2002 2 (33) Jabar Gaffney Houston
2003 2 (44) Taylor Jacobs Washington
2007 2 (44) Sidney Rice Minnesota
2009 5 (141) Kenny McKinley Denver

Best Guesses of Potential Landing Spot
35 – Minnesota
37 – Cleveland
38 – Jacksonville
41 – Buffalo
47 – New York Jets

50 – Chicago


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