WR Justin Jefferson, Louisiana St.*

6’3” – 192 lbs.

Touched the ball only once in his freshman season, then stepped into a major role the following year and posted 54-875-6 (16.2). Was one of college football’s most productive receivers this past year, posting 111-1,540-18 (13.9), then declared for the draft. Tall, lanky wide receiver whose body looks solid but whose listed weight is on the thin side. Despite his size, almost always lines up in the slot or aligned tight to the formation. As his statistics would suggest, is a very high-volume target who’s often schemed open or fed the ball on easier throws underneath, screens, and other patterns of that nature; the team also liked to release him into the flats out of bunch formations, or line him up in the backfield and have him run wheel routes. Very flexible player who often changes speeds and incorporates a lot of stutter-steps and head-fakes into his routes, many of which take him over the middle of the field; relies more on the element of surprise than on explosiveness to create separation against opposing cornerbacks. Will also run routes deeper downfield, often in order to clear out space for teammates, and appears to have solid overall speed, although as mentioned previously he’s not the most explosive player. Reliable receiver who has soft hands and a solid catch radius; can smoothly adjust to and pluck throws away from his frame, with impressive body control. Good focus and toughness to make catches through contact. Runs hard after the catch, with the ability to slip through some arm tackles and gain additional yardage; has solid vision and shake in the open field. Would like to see a little bit more consistent effort when he’s not the primary target; can often be seen going through the motions at half-speed when the ball is going elsewhere. Too content to settle down into zone coverage instead of looking for soft spots; would like to see him work harder to improvise and uncover himself after finishing his original route. Gives adequate effort as a blocker, and does a good job of getting extension, although he’s not the most physical into contact and can often be caught peeking into the backfield instead of working to sustain through the whistle. Put together a monster junior campaign, although his statistical output was somewhat inflated by the amount of times he was essentially schemed open; it’s a little bit difficult to get a feel for him relative to other top receiver prospects because he’s not releasing at the line against press coverage and winning on the boundary with your typical route tree. Looks likely to come off the board within the first couple of rounds.

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