Off the line of scrimmage, he is non-explosive but uses his hands and a subtle jab step to keep defenders at bay. He is good to work into his route and get back on top of his defender after beating a jam. He has a natural feel for turning to catch the ball in-phase and will be a prime candidate for back shoulder fades in the red zone after setting them up.
Speed will never be his game, but he needs to become more comfortable in his routes to work the corner and truly gain separation. The development of his route running skills will be the key to his success.
Jeffery was bit uncoordinated early on in his career and seemingly only began to look comfortable in his body towards the end of his collegiate career."
The SEC is widely recognized as the top breeding ground for future NFL prospects and yet it is in this powerful conference that Jeffery has in fact dominated. Jeffery has only played two seasons at South Carolina and yet he enters his junior campaign as the SEC's active leader in catches (134), receiving yards (2,280) and receiving touchdowns (15). He's done this despite starting only 21 of 27 games thus far during his brief collegiate career.
Jeffery burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2010, playing in all 13 games and starting the final seven. He led the team with 46 catches for 763 yards and six touchdowns, but was just getting warmed up.
A year later Jeffery set school records for the most catches (88) and receiving yards (1,517) in a single season, earning unanimous All-SEC recognition, as well well as All-American honors and being one of three finalists for the Biletnikof Award as the nation's elite wideout. He's played just two seasons and yet already is the SEC's active career leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns (15). He's dominated the best conference in college football.
Jeffery's size advantage has made him a virtually unstoppable force for the Gamecocks, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the elite NFL prospect that his production and hype would lead you to believe.
Despite annually producing draftable receivers while at South Carolina and Florida, remarkably few of Steve Spurrier's former pass-catchers have gone on to post similar success in the pros as they did in college.
Will Jeffery be the next Ike Hilliard, Reidel Anthony, Jabar Gaffney, or Chad Jackson? Or will he buck the odds like Sidney Rice and Darrell Jackson? Improvement in his route-running and hands-catching, as well as a fast time in the 40-yard dash would help convince scouts he's the latter.
Release: Uses his size, good strength and a very effective jab step to quickly gain clearance against press corners. Doesn't possess elite straight-line speed, but can lull defenders asleep with his long-strides and sneak behind the coverage for the long ball.
Hands: Possesses a rare combination of hand-eye coordination, body control and hand strength. Can make the circus grab look easy and already has compiled an impressive number of dazzling one-handed grabs (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky). Good flexibility to extend and pluck the ball high and wide, as well as behind him.
Tracks the ball well over either shoulder. Does have a tendency to let passes get into his chest too often and will drop more balls than he should due to the fact that he's trying to elude defenders before he has the pass secured. This appears to be simply a concentration issue as Jeffery has already demonstrated the natural pass-catching skills usually reserved for Pro Bowl receivers.
Route Running: If there is an area of concern for scouts, this would be it. Many of Jeffery's routes in South Carolina's offense are relatively simple quick screens, slants, crossers and fades. He does not possess the elite speed, which may allow NFL cornerbacks to squat on underneath routes.
He runs with good balance and is a developing route-runner, but isn't always capable of shaking off cornerbacks to gain real separation due to the fact that he lacks true explosiveness out of his cuts.
When he is asked to run double moves, Jeffery often rounds off his cuts, gaining freedom more due to a series of shoulder fakes and adjusting his speeds, rather than exploding out of his breaks. To Jeffery's credit, his size and body control make him open even when he is effectively covered.
He understands how to position himself in front of the defender and is remarkably effective in plucking the ball out of the air in jump-ball situations even when pitted against some of the top cornerbacks in the country (Alabama, Florida).
After the Catch: A nightmare for most collegiate cornerbacks to handle once he gets the ball in his hands. While perhaps lacking in top-end speed, Jeffery has good acceleration for a receiver of his size and can expose cracks in the defense because of it. He has above average elusiveness when in the open field, as well.
Where he'll make his money in the NFL, however, is because of his strength and balance. Jeffery often spins by, runs through or simply bounces his way out of prospective tackles and fights for additional yardage. He possesses a stiff arm that some running backs could take pointers from. At times when doing so, however, he allows the ball outside of his frame, exposing it for defenders to rip away from him (Florida State).
Blocking: A bit inconsistent in this area. Uses his size and strength to shield off defenders, helping his teammates with some big plays. Considering his physical tools, however, he isn't (yet) the dominator in this regard that he someday could be...
Intangibles: Originally committed to a different USC -- Southern California -- out of high school before switching back to his local Gamecocks. Was a key member of a Calhoun County high school basketball team that won four consecutive state titles."
- Possesses elite size for the position with a long set of arms and massive pair of hands.
- Is a natural plucker of the football. Consistently is able to extend off his frame and maximize his long wingspan in order to go get the throw.
- Is very coordinated when asked to adjust to the throw, contorting his body, extending his arms and still getting his feet in bounds.
- Showcases good initial short area quickness off the line for his size. Knows how to work the jab step vs. press, get corners off balance and will drop his pad level initially into his route.
- Has a slight burst off the line at times and uses his length well to fend off defenders who try to stay engaged down the field. Does a nice job maintaining balance and keeping defenders from getting into his frame vertically.
- Locates the football well vertically. Has natural feel working the back shoulder fade with the strength to fight though contact and the grace to avoid it.
- Builds speed as he goes vertically down the field. The further down the field he’s able to run the tough he is to cover because of his deceptive strider speed.
- Exhibits “plus” body control when asked to quickly collect himself and adjust to the play.
- Looks like a power forward the way he goes up and gets the football.
- Showcases some savvy as a vertical route runner looking off defenders and cleanly getting out of his breaks.
- Does a nice job gaining an initial step to the post/corner, putting the defensive back on his hip, using his big frame to shield and go get the football.
- Uses his hands well to create a little separation when corners want to be physical with him out of his breaks. His long arms and subtle strength allows him to create a little push out of his routes and separate initially.
- Snaps his head around quickly out of his breaks and exhibits elite range when asked to go snatch the football.
- Showcases a little quickness with the ball in his hands, side-stepping defenders and creating a bit after the catch.
- Will work in the run game. Has the length to gain leverage, stick to defenders and win through contact.
What I don’t like…
- Isn’t a real explosive self-starter. Takes him a bit to get going and reach top end speed.
- Isn’t a burner either, builds speed as he goes, but looks like a 4.6 guy on tape.
- Will allow corners to get into his frame initially off the line in press coverage and often isn’t as physical with his hands as your would expect.
- Will get upright off the line vs. press and too often looks to skip into his route. Would like to see him stay lower and more compact.
- Stutters his steps when trying to get out of his breaks in the three-step game and will advertise his routes a bit.
- Gets upright when running the inward breaking routes, making him susceptible to physical corners when trying to change directions.
- Never generates much separation out of his breaks on all areas of the field.
- Makes most of his plays with defensive backs draped all over him.
- Saw his production drop dramatically in 2011 due to a change at quarterback.
- Has had some issues with weight, looked a bit heavy coming into the 2011 season.
Overview: A big wide out who lacks ideal top end speed and isn’t a real explosive self-starter. He does display a little short area quickness for his size, however, not enough to consistently create legit separation off the line. Does a great job extending his long arms and adjusting to the football and the further down the field he can stride the tougher he is to cover.
Nevertheless, he strikes me as a guy who is always going to have a tough time creating separation for himself at the next level. Will still be able to make his fair share of plays because of his “plus” jump ball ability and will be a dangerous threat inside the red zone where he doesn’t have to run away from defenders.
Overall, Jeffery looks like a more dynamic version of Seahawks wide out Mike Williams who will be limited in the routes he can run (fade, slant, post, corner) at the next level. But can still be successful as the “Z” receiver where he will be put in motion and used a lot in two man routes with the tight end running vertical and adjusting to the throw. However, he’s never going to be overly productive due to his inability to separate consistently of his breaks."
Route Running: Alshon Jeffery’s route running is the scariest part of his game and not in a good way. He is lazy in and out of breaks as he relies on his physicality too often to overmatch defenders. He doesn’t possess the burst to get separation on defenders which could scare off a lot of teams in this draft. He looked very disinterested at times in 2011 as you can see in his routes. The laziness in routes is a major red flag.
After the Catch: Jeffery lacks the speed and explosion to make short passes into big gains. He is tough to bring down one-on-one because of his size. He won’t make any miss with wiggle or blow by defenders at the next level.
Athleticism: Alshon Jeffery is a rare physical specimen. He may be the one of the most physically imposing receivers since Calvin Johnson. The difference comes with Jeffery’s lack of a second gear. He doesn’t have the speed to get separation in the NFL and his size will become a non-factor as teams adjust to his game. He has an outstanding vertical and could be a major threat in the redzone. He came into the 2011 season clearly out of shape and will have to answer some questions about his willingness to control his weight.
Bottom Line: There’s just too many red flags with Jeffery to make him a top pick. He has elite size and leaping ability but lacks the top end speed and burst to be a top receiver in the NFL. The negatives on Jeffery are compounded by the fact that he came into the 2011 season out of shape and looked disinterested in playing at times. His production fell through the floor in 2011 due to spotty QB play but an elite receiver needs to overcome that instead of packing it in on their team.
Draft Projection: He will be taken in the first round but buyer beware on Alshon Jeffery."
Jeffery not only has impressive size but also the drive and desire to get the football. His leaping ability and attacking style means that he is rarely out battled for the ball. I was surprised by the amount of times Jeffery found himself open. This is attributed to his ability to quickly identify the openings and holes in coverage.
Right now the biggest concern is Jeffery's top end speed. He struggled to outrun the defenders and create great separation. The corners in the NFL are bigger and strong than the average college defensive back. He needs to continue to develop as a route runner in order to overcome the speed concerns.
Overall, Jeffery is a terrific prospect with major playmaking ability. His size and aggressive play makes him a major redzone target. The speed concerns are legitimate but the after season draft process especially the combine could help quell those issues.
Bold Statement: Alshon Jeffery will have a great season and put himself in top 5 discussion until a poor 40 time drops his stock a little.
Games Viewed: Alabama ('10), Auburn ('10), Arkansas ('10), Florida State ('10), Georgia ('10)
- Jeffery is a massive target with good size, bulk, and leaping ability
- He shows good concentration and soft hands
- His attacking style means that he rarely misses out on a jump ball
- He goes up and plucks the ball out of the air using his body to box out the defender
- His good body control helps him overcome some separation concerns
- Jeffery runs nice balanced routes and knows how to find the openings in a zone
- He has a nice burst out of his breaks because his long legs are able to eat up a ton of yardage
- Redzone success is very important and Jeffery is almost unstoppable
- The biggest question mark surrounding Jeffery will be his top end speed
- He will struggle to out run defenders and create great separation"
Possesses outstanding body control; uses his size and strength to good advantage separating in bump and run coverage; also willing to go over the middle where he does a nice job sealing off defenders from the ball; has long arms and will extend for the ball; also has great hands and concentration and can make the tough catch in traffic;
Also a good red-zone target who can out-jump most CBs for the ball; long strider who can deep, but lacks elite straight-line speed and explosion; also not the most precise route-runner, but is a hard worker and character player."
Has a huge catch radius, throw the ball anywhere around him and he'll make a play on it... A load to bring down when he gets to full speed, has some run after the catch ability... Has the size and strength to be a good run blocker, should continue to develop in this area in the NFL... Has massive hands, can make the circus catch and one handed grabs...
Ended his career on a high note by putting up 148 yards in three quarters against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, including a 51-yard Hail Mary catch for a touchdown at the end of the first half...
Drop off in production may not be a full reflection on him, South Carolina had some atrocious quarterback play and their star running back, Marcus Lattimore went out for the year with an injury so teams were focused on stopping Jeffery.
Negatives -- At South Carolina was mostly asked to run vertical routes and doesn't have a developed route tree... Fails to gain separation at the collegiate level on underneath routes and with double moves...
Has some problems with press coverage, doesn't have quick feet off the line and will let corners get into his body which will knock him off his routes... A long strider with good build up speed but lacks initial quickness... Will let the ball get into his body, doesn't always attack the football with his hands...
Production fell off completely from his sophomore to junior season, went from 88 receptions, 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns down to 49, 762, and eight and he did play in every single game as a junior...
Still very raw, tough to tell if he's the next Calvin Johnson or if he'll be the next Mike/Reggie Williams, will be very dependent on his work ethic and the offense he falls into...
Considering how talented he is, he should have stood out more during his junior season, failed to make an impact in most of South Carolina's games... Was ejected in South Carolina's bowl game vs. Nebraska for retaliating after Alfonzo Dennard threw a punch during a scuffle."
The South Carolina native hauled in 46 passes for 763 yards and six scores as a freshman. He promptly exploded in his second campaign for the Gamecocks, racking up 1517 yards and nine touchdowns on 88 catches.
Jeffery is a physical specimen at 6'4'' and 229 pounds. He runs around a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash and has been clocked as fast as 4.46 from that distance. His combination of size and speed is without a doubt NFL material.
Jeffery also comes with no apparent red flags to speak of. He has no injury history and comes with no off-the-field problems. Assuming Jeffery leaves early, he should be the second receiver behind Justin Blackmon off the board and a selection in the first half of the first round is possible."