By Alex Kozora
Our focus has shifted to the offseason and for the next few months, I’ll be providing scouting reports on several draft prospects. Some of these players the Pittsburgh Steelers may look at and others will be top players that will be off the board before they select. All to make you as prepared as possible for the 2014 NFL Draft.
A breakdown of one of the players the Steelers have brought in for a visit. Texas’ Jackson Jeffcoat.
Jackson Jeffcoat/DE-OLB/6’3 247
- NFL looking frame with a lot of length (33 7/8 arms)
- Uses his length well, getting his arms extended
- Plays with proper hand placement and leverage
- Flashes of quick, violent hands, effective when used
- Ability to counter
- Some ability to disengage against the run and pass
- High football IQ, gets his hands up to bat passes down
- Sure tackler who can deliver a blow
- Very versatile, played all over
- Loads of production at Texas
- Quality starting experience
- Good bloodlines
- Just an average athlete
- First step isn’t special
- Hand usage is inconsistent, will go dead, causing him to get stuck as a pass rusher
- Doesn’t always show hip flexibility/bend
- Lacks strength
- Can get pushed around in the run game and bull rush easily anchored
- Limited ceiling?
- Relatively minor medical concerns
- 33 career starts for the Longhorns
- 2013: 22 TFL, 13 sacks , 19 pressures
- Career: 60 TFL, 27.5 sacks, 41 pressures
- 2013 First Team AP All-American
- Co Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (Coaches’ pick)
- 2013 First Team All-Big 12
- 2+ sacks in six career games
- Moved all over the field, hand up and down at both end spots
- Father, Jim, played 15 years in the NFL recording 94.5 sacks
- One sister plays basketball at Texas State with brother playing at Norwich University
- Missed last seven games in 2012 after tearing right pectoral muscle; started all 13 games in 2013
- Rated as 12th best overall prospect by Rivals coming out of high school
- Two-time first team all-state in Texas in high school
Jeffcoat’s best quality is his hands. When he’s using them, they’re quick, violent, and consequently effective.
Left guard barely gets his hands on him. Jeffcoat evades and helps take down the quarterback and force a fumble.
Beats the left tackle to the inside, generating pressure against Texas Tech.
Those quick hands also help him get off blocks in the run game. A must for a player that Jeffcoat that rarely wins because of his strength.
Fundamental tackler who can pack a pretty good punch.
Gets his nearly 34 inch arms extended into the pads’ of lineman. Picture of that extension on this pass rush.
Unfortunately, Jeffcoat is merely an average athlete. Can’t get excited about him as an athlete or his explosion off the ball. When his hands go dead, he’ll get stuck as a pass rusher.
There are times even when he is hand-fighting, tackles have the lateral movement to stay square to him.
Lined up over the “A” gap, he gets pushed upfield by the guard. Lacking hip and ankle flexibility.
Right end in the clip below.
That one was particularly disappointing. Jeffcoat got to pin his ears back with Iowa State losing in the final minute of the game. Should be winning off the edge there. Can’t get skinny and the left tackle pushes him up the arc.
Back to the positives for a moment, it’s hard to argue with the productivity. Jeffcoat had a fantastic career at Texas. Having a father that thrived in the league doesn’t hurt, either.
Do project him to move to outside linebacker. As I’m sure you saw in the GIFs, Texas moved him all over the place. It appears that as the season went on, he was asked to stand up more. Played with his hand up and down at both end spots and stood up over the “A” gap a lot, especially against Texas Tech. Longhorns got creative using him on stunts and twists. Dropped into coverage probably 8-10 times in the three games I watched. But they were usually just shallow zones and he never had to flip his hips and run.
It’s a college career that will likely be much better than what he’ll have in the NFL. Speed and explosion isn’t something that can’t be significantly changed. If the report was flipped, a player with great speed but poor use of hands, you can work with that as a mid-rounder. Someone that can be coached up and molded. For Jeffcoat, there is a low ceiling and he may already be close to it. Don’t see a trait that defines him.
A deal-breaker, in my mind.
Projection: 4th-5th Round
Games Watched: at Iowa St, at TCU, vs Texas Tech
Previous Scouting Reports:
Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
Illinois State T/G Josh Aladenoye
Penn State WR Allen Robinson
Stanford ILB Shayne Skov/a>
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
Auburn T Greg Robinson
Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III
Auburn LB Dee Ford
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
North Dakota State T Billy Turner
Boston College RB Andre Williams
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy
Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald
Tennessee NT Daniel McCullers
Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett
Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
Tennessee T Antonio Richardson
Central Florida RB Storm Johnson
Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller
Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
West Virginia DE Will Clarke
Louisville S Calvin Pryor
Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews
Virginia T Morgan Moses
Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt
Mississippi WR Donte Moncrief
Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
North Carolina DE Kareem Martin
UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
South Carolina CB Victor Hampton
Clemson WR Martavis Bryant
Fresno State WR Davante Adams