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Jackson Jeffcoat 2014 NFL Draft preseason scouting report

A pectoral injury ended his junior season prematurely, leaving Jeffcoat with plenty to prove as a senior.

Ronald Martinez

Jackson Jeffcoat | 6'5, 245 pounds | Defensive end | Texas

2012 Stats: Six games played, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks

Coming into 2012, the Texas Longhorns were thought to have one of the most feared defensive end tandems in the entire country. Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat were both five-star recruits. They were both the top recruit at defensive end in their class. And both looked ready for bright NFL futures.

But Okafor's recruiting background didn't follow him to the NFL Draft. He was drafted but not until the fourth round, when Arizona took him off the board. Now Jeffcoat, who tore his pectoral muscle in 2012, will hope to find better success in his final season as a Longhorn and parlay that into a successful career at the next level.

What he does well

Jeffcoat is an athletic pass rusher with some skills to make an impact coming off the edge. He spends time both standing up and in a three-point stance in Texas' defense and appears to be far more explosive when he has his hand in the dirt. His snap anticipation is effective and helps him make up for the lack of explosiveness on occasion.

As a pass rusher, Jeffcoat shows off solid athleticism and some traits that he can build on during his senior season. He's quick, particularly when rushing to the inside. His bullrush is strong, but whether or not that translates to the NFL remains to be seen. He has shown the ability to dip his shoulder around the corner but needs to show consistent bend.

While the two-point stance doesn't do Jeffcoat any favors as a pass rusher, he does seem comfortable enough in space to drop back in coverage and make plays in the open field.

What he needs to improve on

As noted, Jeffcoat doesn't have much burst coming out of his two-point stance and it limits his upside as a potential 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. He also lacks the counter moves to succeed when his initial rush is stalled and could stand to show a bit more bend around the edge.

Jeffcoat also needs to improve his ball location. He doesn't struggle to set the edge or get into the backfield, but it seems like he either loses track of the ball or misreads the play sometimes. He struggles to disengage from blocks, which doesn't help this area of his game, but he often gets washed out in the running game easier than he should because of his ability to locate and attack the ball.

Bottom line

Jeffcoat is in danger of earning the tweener label this draft season. He doesn't seem to have the pass rush moves to excel in a 4-3 defensive end role, but his get off is lacking when he is forced to stand up. Depending on how he has matured both physically and mentally this offseason, Jeffcoat could go either way. His athleticism is undeniable, but he doesn't possess the same upside that other pass rushers in this class or in years past have shown. Add to that the fact that he's coming off a severe, season-ending pectoral injury, and he's one to monitor closely this season. Jeffcoat has a shot at the first round, but he looks more like a second round guy, all things considered.

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