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JetNation Prospect Preview: LSU Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson

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“Historically deep wide receiver draft”, has become a commonly used phrase to describe how special the class of 2020 can be. The number of projected starters this class boasts just within the first two days of the draft is essentially unheard of.  Today, we’re going to look at a late 1st/early 2nd round prospect who is a well-known commodity with production and endless positive game film, LSU’s Justin Jefferson.

Jefferson possesses an NFL-worthy frame and traits that could make him a “#1 WR” Not all first round talents are chosen in the first round and a lot of this has to do with QB needy teams, combine risers and other variables that can push these prospects down into the 2nd round. Joe Douglas may very well decide to take an Offensive Tackle in round 1 and so begins the focus shift towards the playmakers that he desperately needs.

Measurables:

Height: 6’3

Weight: 192lbs

Class: Junior

Overview:

In 2018, Jefferson hauled in 54 receptions (63% catch rate) for 875 yards, 6 touchdowns at a 16.4 yards per catch clip. In 2019, he exploded for 111 receptions (91% catch rate), 1540 yards, 13.9 ypc and 18 touchdowns. Jefferson displayed an ability to perform well under the spotlight as well. In the Peach Bowl, Jefferson logged 14 catches for 227 yards and he wasn’t done yet. Two weeks later he faced a more adequate defense in Clemson.  All he did in that contest was pick up 9 catches for 106 yards, as well as a memorable moment where he hit Tanner Muse with an absolutely filthy juke move reminiscent of Reggie Bush. He has been one of the most productive players in college football since he hit the field.

Who can forget this move Justin Jefferson put on Tanner Muse? Stops on a dime, Muse loses his footing and falls flat on his back while Jefferson picks up some additional ground. pic.twitter.com/lCMUvr5U5X

— Glenn Naughton (@AceFan23) February 22, 2020

Justin Jefferson stopped on a DIME 😳#GeauxTigers | #NationalChampionship pic.twitter.com/VtI1QfpIpV

— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 14, 2020

Pros:

Solid route runner with secure hands and the ability to win 50/50 balls.  Has excellent body control and how to naturally positions himself for the catch. In addition, he’s a willing blocker.  Aggressively fights to create space for his running backs. Never gives up on plays even when it doesn’t directly involve him.  Jefferson frequently saw top SEC defenses in his time at LSU but that didn’t slow him down. As a result, he has also seen the best defensive minds game plan against him. He scorched Georgia and Florida, as well as putting up very respectable numbers against Alabama and Auburn. Jefferson shows a variety of moves when releasing off the line and has enough strength to get off of jams. Jefferson is good short/intermediate route runner and lives for the contested catches. He has a wide catch radius and loves show corners exactly how wide on a consistent basis.

Concerns:

Jefferson’s 40 yard dash and 3 cone will be two metrics of athleticism that scouts will be looking at closely. He isn’t a burner-type of receiver and he doesn’t have a lot of twitch mid-route. He’ll need to rely on his route running and ability to identify coverage and adjust more than his athleticism because he lacks elite speed to burn NFL corners with ease. If he struggles to find success leaning on his strengths to gain consistent separation, he’ll struggle in adjusting to the NFL.  Polishing his route running and gaining an understanding for what defenses are trying to do to him are his biggest keys to extinguishing some of the doubt in his ability to beat coverage on the next level. You don’t have to be a track star to succeed as a pro, however, you do need to be able to do certain things very well to make up for this. Corner’s reaction time and closing speeds are just too good.

 

See For Yourself:

The post JetNation Prospect Preview: LSU Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson appeared first on JetNation.com (NY Jets Blog & Forum).

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Near bullet proof prospect with a Keenan Allen esque ceiling... and absolutely a possibility in rnd 2 if we're lucky. 
We drafted Leo and q Williams because they were near bulletproof. The draft is a crapshoot don't trick yourself into believing someone's highlight real can predict their NFL viability.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using JetNation.com mobile app

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1 hour ago, Paradis said:

Near bullet proof prospect with a Keenan Allen esque ceiling... and absolutely a possibility in rnd 2 if we're lucky. 

One of my favorites but I can't see him there at 48. 

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Everybody Loves Raymond Romano GIF by TV Land

 

Big Jefferson fan but he could go earlier than we originally thought.  Had hoped at one point he'd last until the middle of the 2nd.  I think that's highly doubtful now.  If the Jets snag an OT in Round 1 then I wouldn't complain if Douglas moved up from #48 to closer to 30 to get Justin Jefferson.  He has WR1 written all over him.

And just to show what kind of WR class this is compared to others....Macc was taking a guy like Devin Smith in Round 2 several years ago.  The guys in Round 2 this year....Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Reagor, Denzel Mims, etc. are light years ahead of Devin Smith.  And those guys are AFTER Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs, Tee Higgins, Laviska Shenault, etc. are already likely taken in Round 1.

This WR draft could be epic.

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28 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

Everybody Loves Raymond Romano GIF by TV Land

 

Big Jefferson fan but he could go earlier than we originally thought.  Had hoped at one point he'd last until the middle of the 2nd.  I think that's highly doubtful now.  If the Jets snag an OT in Round 1 then I wouldn't complain if Douglas moved up from #48 to closer to 30 to get Justin Jefferson.  He has WR1 written all over him.

And just to show what kind of WR class this is compared to others....Macc was taking a guy like Devin Smith in Round 2 several years ago.  The guys in Round 2 this year....Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Reagor, Denzel Mims, etc. are light years ahead of Devin Smith.  And those guys are AFTER Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs, Tee Higgins, Laviska Shenault, etc. are already likely taken in Round 1.

This WR draft could be epic.

His two biggest question marks are can he play outside because he only played in the slot at LSU, and can he beat press man because he rarely had to. I love him as a prospect but I'm not sure that's what we're looking for in a WR.

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11 hours ago, jetstream23 said:

Everybody Loves Raymond Romano GIF by TV Land

 

Big Jefferson fan but he could go earlier than we originally thought.  Had hoped at one point he'd last until the middle of the 2nd.  I think that's highly doubtful now.  If the Jets snag an OT in Round 1 then I wouldn't complain if Douglas moved up from #48 to closer to 30 to get Justin Jefferson.  He has WR1 written all over him.

And just to show what kind of WR class this is compared to others....Macc was taking a guy like Devin Smith in Round 2 several years ago.  The guys in Round 2 this year....Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Reagor, Denzel Mims, etc. are light years ahead of Devin Smith.  And those guys are AFTER Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs, Tee Higgins, Laviska Shenault, etc. are already likely taken in Round 1.

This WR draft could be epic.

Agree 100%.  Jefferson just may be my favorite WR in the draft, but I seriously doubt he's anywhere near 48.  He's going in the first for sure. 

I know it's nothing official but he went in the 1st in every single mock simulation I did. Not once did he slip. 

If we traded back and got an additional 2nd and whatever else I could see creating a package if  he slips to the end of the 1st. He'd be worth it imo. 

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16 hours ago, bealeb319 said:

We drafted Leo and q Williams because they were near bulletproof. The draft is a crapshoot don't trick yourself into believing someone's highlight real can predict their NFL viability.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using JetNation.com mobile app
 

The fck? 

I have about 4000 things wrong with this post, starting with shoehorning two guys I wanted NOTHING to do with, and bringing up the rear with a comment insinuating that i based my opinion of this  highlight reel clip

 

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7 minutes ago, Paradis said:

The fck? 

I have about 4000 things wrong with this post, starting with shoehorning two guys I wanted NOTHING to do with, and bringing up the rear with a comment insinuating that i based my opinion of this  highlight reel clip

 

It’s game film anyway, not highlight clips.

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16 hours ago, RobR said:

One of my favorites but I can't see him there at 48. 

I'm holding my breath... These are the same GMs who saw JJAW last year and thought he was worth a 2nd round pick... I'm hoping they continue to overvalue guys like Shenault and Aiyuk long enough for us to get lucky..

Its gotta break our way eventually, right? 

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For once I am not concerned if a guy i like goes higher than I hoped because this position group is so good that if there are a couple guys going higher than expected there will be a couple going lower than expected we have will have a shot at.

The only way Douglas can screw up this draft re WR is if he drafts one or none of them.

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2 minutes ago, Paradis said:

I'm holding my breath... These are the same GMs who saw JJAW last year and thought he was worth a 2nd round pick... I'm hoping they continue to overvalue guys like Shenault and Aiyuk long enough for us to get lucky..

Its gotta break our way eventually, right? 

The bigger question is he a fit for our offense since we already have Crowder? I still wouldn't mind drafting him and figuring it out from there. His body control and hands are off the charts. 

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4 minutes ago, RobR said:

The bigger question is he a fit for our offense since we already have Crowder? I still wouldn't mind drafting him and figuring it out from there. His body control and hands are off the charts. 

I think his main concerns as you said earlier are on point. He needs to show people he can beat press man coverage and have enough athleticism to fight off NFL corners and gain natural separation from there.

other than that I love the guy.

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Jefferson has some of the same questions that Higgins has, mainly the speed thing.  Higgins is a little better getting off the line and beating press.   If either guy runs mid 4.5s there is no chance they are there at 48 though.  

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6 minutes ago, sec101row23 said:

Jefferson has some of the same questions that Higgins has, mainly the speed thing.  Higgins is a little better getting off the line and beating press.   If either guy runs mid 4.5s there is no chance they are there at 48 though.  

Thinking Higgins and Jefferson can both be solid contributors from week one tbh. A lot of the combine stuff gets blown out of proportion even if the game film suggests a few questions that speed can take care of. 

But on the flip side, it could be the difference in being a dominating #1 WR and a #2 WR in some instances.

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6 minutes ago, sec101row23 said:

Jefferson has some of the same questions that Higgins has, mainly the speed thing.  Higgins is a little better getting off the line and beating press.   If either guy runs mid 4.5s there is no chance they are there at 48 though.  

So you're not concerned that he played in the slot 100% of the time at LSU?

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15 minutes ago, RobR said:

The bigger question is he a fit for our offense since we already have Crowder? I still wouldn't mind drafting him and figuring it out from there. His body control and hands are off the charts. 

We can't (or shouldn't) expect too much from these guys year 1... And anything from Crowder post 2020 is murky. I'm ok with that -- though to your point, we ideally want a proper "split end" type WR... but I can't help but gush watching Jefferson, who's a natural tactician/ball tracker at the position. 

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Just now, RobR said:

So you're not concerned that he played in the slot 100% of the time at LSU?

Somewhat.  Although I think some of that was because Chase was so good on the outside and fit what LSU wanted to do more.  

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3 minutes ago, sec101row23 said:

Somewhat.  Although I think some of that was because Chase was so good on the outside and fit what LSU wanted to do more.  

It was always Marshall and Chase on the outside. TBH I was surprised that Jefferson never lined up out there given his height but after watching a few game tapes that was the case. He NEVER lined up outside in the games I watched, not even once. It definitely gives me some concern although I love the prospect he is. 

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Don't think Jefferson will last until 48 but it would be a great pick if he does.  Sign me up!

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9 minutes ago, RobR said:

It was always Marshall and Chase on the outside. TBH I was surprised that Jefferson never lined up out there given his height but after watching a few game tapes that was the case. He NEVER lined up outside in the games I watched, not even once. It definitely gives me some concern although I love the prospect he is. 

I think, and this is only my opinion, but I think Joe Brady was using Jefferson like Michael Thomas with the Saints.  Obviously Thomas lined up more outside, but when Thomas is in the slot he is targeted a lot.   He used Jefferson very similar.   

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