Jackson Jeffcoat   LB   Texas

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

STRENGTHS
Jackson can be an impact player for the team that drafts him in the right system, for the right team. He is smart and has the overall athleticism to be effectiveÖin the right system. He has long arms and legs and has a good burst off the line on the initial snap of the ball. He does a very good job holding the point of attack and fights through double teams to disrupt plays in the back field. As long as he is used to attack the line of scrimmage, he can play multiple positions in the front seven. He shows on film decent change of direction skills and he understands situational football. He has the instincts and football intelligence to set up the offensive line for an impact play in the 4th quarter. He has nice quickness to make plays away from the line of scrimmage if he anticipates correctly. Jackson has the skills to be a solid defensive player, but the truth is that he also has the skills to be an impact defensive player. What he ends up being is completely up to him.

CONCERNS
Jackson lacks the foot speed to run down quarterbacks once they break the pocket. When he pass rushes, he struggles once he is engaged. He needs to learn better pass rushing moves to become an effective pass rusher. He works hard, but sometimes I wonder if he just gets bored and settles for being blocked? Thatís not to say his effort isnít good on every play, but he may lack the intensity needed to finish plays. A good coach may have to find the right buttons to push this kid to the next level of his potential based on his talent.

BOTTOM LINE
The first time I saw Jackson play on film, I thought he could be as good as former Patriots Willie McGinest. I thought Jackson could play on the outside in a 3-4 defense, then be moved inside on passing downs with his hand on the ground and make his pass rushing impact from that position. Unfortunately, something happened to Jackson on the way to his senior year. He seems to have lost the fire in his belly that I first saw in his freshman year. I donít know what happened, but I donít think interviewing him would change my mind. Jackson has to show that fire on the field and not just in an interview. Until he does, I suspect that all Jackson will be at the next level is a smart, solid defensive player who could become a core player. Thatís not a bad draft pick at all. I just wonder where that kid who reminded me of Willie McGinest went? If you find him somewhere inside of Jackson, thatís the player who can become something special for the team that drafts him. Either way, Iíd draft him on my team any day because good, smart, core players are hard to find. I still think thereís a Willie McGinest in this kid struggling to get out.

Drew Boylhart
JAN/2014