A.J. Jefferson, CB, Fresno State

Scouting reports of cornerbacks in the 2010 draft.
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A.J. Jefferson, CB, Fresno State

Postby Pudge » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:42 pm

Fresno State Senior
40: 4.42

PROS: Has good size and speed. Shows pretty good hips and burst. Has decent ball skills and can break up the pass. Does a nice job keeping things in front of him. Is capable in run support, wraps up, and can make the stop in the open field. Shows some ability as a return specialist.
CONS: He doesn't make enough plays in coverage. Has a thin build and tends to tackle high, leading to the likelihood he won't be great in run support on next level. Will get turned around in man coverage, and not as effective when working out of the slot.
OVERVIEW: Has the physical tools you like, but rarely made plays. Had no interceptions in his collegiate career and only had 9 pass breakups in three years as a starter. Biggest contributions came on special teams where he averaged 29.4 yards on 83 kickoff returns and scored 3 TDs in his career. Also led the nation in KOR average as a sophomore.
NFL FORECAST: I don't have high hopes for his ability to impact on defense. He has the size you like and I think ultimately with hard work and development might be a half-way decent No. 3 corner. But he'll likely spend his entire career on the bench and probably won't be a reliable enough guy to be a regular nickel guy. More than likely, he'll be used mostly as a kickoff returner and special teams player. I forsee his career similar to WIll Blackmon in Green Bay. Blackmon has made small contributions on Green Bay's defense over the years. He's been serviceable on the few occasions he's played extensively, but he's valued for his speed and special teams ability above all else. I see a similar future for Jefferson.
ATL FORECAST: Unless the team thinks he can win the kickoff return job, I don't like his chances. He does offer some needed size to the cornerback group, but he isn't a polished enough cover man to really crack the lineup, and I dont' think ever will. So unless he can push or unseat Weems for the kickoff job, he doesn't look like much more than a decent camp body for the Falcons and practice squad option.
VALUE: For a team wanting him to contribute on special teams more than defense, he would make a nice late round pick, probably taken in the fifth or sixth round.
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