Texas Longhorns defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat put his talents on display at the NFL Combine today.
Jeffcoat measured at 6’3” and 247 pounds. This is comparable to players like Demarcus Lawrence (Boise St.), Jonathan Newsome (Ball St.), Marcus Smith (Louisville), Cassius Marsh (UCLA), Kasim Edebali (Boston College) and Donald Ford (Auburn). His arms measurement of 33 7/8 compared favorable to the taller lineman. This will help Jeffcoat when teams try to forecast a position for the All-American from Texas.
Jadaveon Clowney may have stolen the show with a 4.53 40 time, but Jeffcoat acquitted himself nicely. His time of 4.63 is the fourth fastest among the defensive lineman. His 10 second split time of 1.60 was literally a fraction of a second slower than Clowney (1.59). Forty yard dash times do not tell the whole story about an athlete, but the 10 second split helps highlight players who are quick out of the gate.
One area Jeffcoat did not excel in was the 225lb bench press. Jeffcoat managed 18 reps. Only Tevin Mims (South Florida), Michael Sam (Missouri) and Larry Webster (Bloomsburg) did fewer reps than Jeffcoat (17). Again, bench press numbers do make the player. As a comparison, Clowney had 21 reps, but he is still considered a potential number one overall pick. One thing to keep in mind is Jeffcoat tore both pectoral muscles while at Texas. This may or may not have affected him today.
Jeffcoat did not participate in the broad jump, but he did attempt the vertical jump. His athleticism was on show once again as he had a 36” vertical jump. Only Clowney, Webster, Jadon Gayle (Virginia Tech) and Chris Smith (Arkansas) posted a higher vertical jump.
So what did teams learn about Jeffcoat today? He probably still falls into the ‘tweener’ category. This defines a player as too small to play defensive end, but not fast or athletic enough to cover running backs and tight ends as a linebacker. He does have long arms, however, and his quickness in the 40 and 10 second split show a guy who can accelerate quickly. Jeffcoat has the pedigree to play in the NFL, the only question is how he will be used. A good comparison may be as a situational pass rusher like Jerry Hughes of the Buffalo Bills.
Former defensive lineman Chris Whaley was also invited to the combine. Whaley did not participate in any of the drills since he is still rehabbing from a knee injury he suffered against West Virginia. He will likely just participate in the interview process.