Jackson Jeffcoat Could Be A Top Ten Pick In 2013

LUBBOCK TX - SEPTEMBER 18: Jackson Jeffcoat #44 of the Texas Longhorns celebrates a fumble recovery with Sam Acho #81 in the first quarter against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium on September 18 2010 in Lubbock Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The sky is the limit for the UT defensive end, who has the potential to be an All-Pro caliber pass rusher at the next level.

As we continue to take a closer look at the potential draft prospects from the Big 12 for the 2013 NFL Draft, let's stay with the Texas Longhorns and focus on junior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. If you were a fan of the Dallas Cowboys in the '80s and '90s, then you should remember Jim Jeffcoat. Jim is the father of Jackson, and he has passed on his NFL talent to his son.

Jackson Jeffcoat was a standout player in high school for Plano West High School in Texas. He received a lot of media attention due to the fact that his father was a great NFL player, but Jackson became a five-star recruit who was a highly sought after player by big time college football programs.

He decided to stay in Texas and he committed to play football for the Texas Longhorns. It was a very good decision for him because while he stays close to home, he also decided to play for a huge football program that receives as much attention as some professional teams do.

As a freshman, Jeffcoat showed flashes of what made him one of the most sought after players in the nation. When he was finally placed into the starting lineup as a sophomore in 2011, Jeffcoat didn't disappoint. The talented defensive end started all 13 games and registered 71 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 8 sacks and 9 pressures.

Tale Of The Tape

  • Class: Junior
  • School: Texas
  • Position: Defensive End
  • Size: 6'5, 250
  • Hometown: Plano, Texas

Jackson Jeffcoat 2011 Sophomore Highlights (via godzillatron24)

Positives

  • Long and lean muscular frame
  • Versatile player who can play at a variety of positions (strongside, weakside, outside, inside)
  • Can play with his hand in the dirt as a 4-3 defensive end, but can also stand up as a 3-4 outside linebacker
  • Possesses excellent technique as a pass rusher
  • Will use his long arms to beat offensive lineman
  • Amazing first step off the line of scrimmage
  • Great speed coming off the edge
  • Drops his pad level when blitzing and blows by the offensive tackle
  • Good in space, efficient in pass coverage
  • Uses his long arms to make plays in the running game
  • Can jump up and swat down potential passes due to his superior arm length
  • Amazing athleticism
  • Great at using his hands while rushing the passer
  • Excellent young man who possesses the "right kind of guy" attributes

Negatives

  • Needs to continue adding more weight to his frame
  • Good bull rusher, but he must gain more strength to become dominant in that area
  • If he adds more strength, it will help him stand his ground better
  • During his career at Texas, he suffered high ankle sprain and torn pectoral

Jeffcoat plays for a Texas team that is loaded with NFL talent, but he is no slouch. He is a hard worker who comes from a well structured background and his family is very supportive of his NFL aspirations. Even though he has another year of eligibility, Jeffcoat may decide to forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft because he is already considered to be one of the best players in this year's draft class.

With Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor, Texas has the best defensive end combination in college football. They are a nightmare match up for any team, and each player has the potential and skill set to become a great NFL player. What I love about Jeffcoat is that he is still growing and maturing. While he is already around 6'5, 250, he can continue to add more to his frame and eventually possess a rock solid body.

Pass rushers with long arms (DeMarcus Ware, Jason Pierre-Paul, Aldon Smith, Quinton Coples, Chandler Jones) are the rage now in the NFL. Jeffcoat is versatile enough to play in either the 4-3 or 3-4 defense at the next level in the NFL, but I would love to see him go to a 3-4 team because he reminds me a lot of DeMarcus Ware.

Draft guru Chad Reuter recently released an article about his rankings for the draft-eligible defensive ends.

The son of 15-year NFL veteran lineman Jim Jeffcoat began fulfilling his promise as an impact pass rusher in his sophomore season (16.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks in 2011). His NFL-caliber length, explosive athleticism and still-growing frame give him the intriguing overall package scouts covet.

NFL Comparison: John Abraham

Jeffcoat has the wingspan, size and athleticism to resemble Ware as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. He is a very smooth pass rusher who is a technician that uses a combination of athleticism and technique to beat offensive lineman. While he may not be DeMarcus Ware, Jeffcoat does resemble the type of player Ware was coming out of Troy University.

Jeffcoat just looks so natural out there. He is such a silky smooth player that is only going to get better and better. Keep in mind that 2011 was only his first season as a starter, so the potential and upside for Jackson are sky high. If he builds on a promising sophomore season in 2012, he could be one of the first defensive players taken in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Early Grade: top-ten pick

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