STRENGTHS - Playing aggressively on every snap, Jefferson flies around the field and is willing to make blow up hits/tackles. Flying up the field quickly in run support, he can avoid contact/blockers well and has an explosive burst to the ball carrier. When he understands he is the last defender with a chance to make the tackle, he does a good job of staying under control and finds a way to get man to the ground. His aggressiveness against the run enables him to play faster than his timed speed in run support, which gives him legit sideline range. From "off" alignment he shows the quickness and hips to pickup TE and can cover him well in short area in man coverage. From deep alignment he reads the QB/Pass well and closes quickly and aggressively to make hard hit right as pass arrives to break up the pass.
WEAKNESSES - For a safety who is constantly around the ball, he does not make as many plays as he is capable of. He has a bad habit of stopping feet and diving/lunging to try and make low/grab tackles, which led to him missing more tackles than he made in the games evaluated. While he can avoid blockers well, if a WR gets their hands on him they are consistently able to shield/block him from making the play. Although he flashes production playing passes in front of him, he is upright when in deep coverage and struggles to COD and break to the sideline to help with over the top coverage. Additionally, while he can effectively cover TE's on short routes in man coverage, he cannot stay with slot receiver when he has to flip hips to turn and run with him. Jefferson does not have the elite athleticism and production to convince me he can overcome his lack of ideal height to be a productive starter in the NFL.
SUMMARY - An under-classman who came out early for the Draft, Jefferson is not close to the elite player he was hyped to be. Rather he is a one dimensional player who is constantly around the ball against the run and on passes in front of him, but is limited in deep coverage and misses way too many tackles. Although I have real concerns about his ability to be a consistent enough safety in the NFL, he does have the speed, aggressiveness, instincts and hitting ability to be productive on special teams if he can tackle more consistently. Overall, I would not draft Jefferson early because of the issues mentioned above, but would take a chance on him late in the draft. If he can do a better job of staying under control and over feet to become a more consistent tackler he would be an excellent backup safety who could finish out games and would excel on special teams. His need to improve as a tackler makes him an ideal practice squad candidate as he would get the time to work on this without having to play in a game right away. .