The 2020 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future and The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects. Here is the Justin Jefferson 2020 NFL Draft profile.
Position: Wide Receiver
Size: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds
2019 stats: 111 receptions, 1,540 receiving yards, 18 touchdown catches, 13.9 yards per reception
Jefferson was a three-star prospect who decided to follow in the footsteps of his brothers Rickey and Jordan to attend LSU. He didn’t see the field immediately at LSU, but developed into a star receiver for the Tigers.
In his first season on campus, Jefferson did not see the field often. He finished the year with one rushing attempt for four yards and no catches. His role increased as a sophomore in 2018, as he finished the year with 54 receptions for 875 yards and six touchdowns. LSU capped off the year with a win over UCF in the Fiesta Bowl. The offense was changed to be way more pass-friendly in 2019 and Jefferson benefitted. He had 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns in his junior season. His play helped LSU to an undefeated season and a National Championship.
The last two seasons of Jefferson’s career have made him a noteworthy NFL Draft prospect. He has a chance to be selected in the first round, but if he isn’t, he won’t have to wait too long into the second day of the draft to find out which NFL team he will be playing for.
Jefferson has some really good hands, which helped him snag 111 passes this year. He rarely has drops, showing his good focus. His ability to make catches in traffic is impressive. He has a solid catch radius, making him a reliable target. Quarterbacks can trust that if they put the football in Jefferson’s area, he can come down with it.
He runs smooth routes, which helped him get open a lot this past season at LSU. Jefferson gets out of the gate well at the snap of the ball, then releases decently well to start off his route well. He makes crisp cuts, especially in his junior season. Jefferson has a solid route tree, as he ran a wide variety of routes this season.
This season, Jefferson showed the knack for the big play. He found the end zone 18 times, showing he was a good red zone target, but he also created big plays too. Against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff, he registered four touchdowns. He gets open deep and is a menace to defenses with his ability to come up big on broken plays.
The biggest question with Jefferson is his long-speed. He shows some quickness on tape, but he appeared to play slower than a lot of other receivers in this draft class. NFL teams will be watching his 40-yard dash time closely. His speed didn’t hinder him too much in college, but could catch up to him in the pros.
Jefferson should also add more strength for the next level. He struggles when going up against tough, physical corners. He struggles with their press coverage and even in the middle of his route, he can be pushed off his spot. If he adds some strength and learns how to be physical back at corners, it will be easier for him to be successful.
Partially because of his lack of strength, Jefferson isn’t the best blocking wide receiver. The effort is there at times, but he doesn’t have the strength to sustain blocks. He also lets defenders get around him and to the ball carrier too easily. Adding strength will help, but he will need to dedicate himself more to blocking at the next level as well.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick-Second Round Pick
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