Yesterday I covered TCU’s Jalen Reagor as my favorite WR for the Eagles at 21, and while they’re likely to take a wideout with one of those first two picks, we know Howie is also likely to double-up (at least) at the position.
One mid-round prospect who‘s been rising up boards since the Senior Bowl is Florida’s Van Jefferson—an NFL-ready route technician who could be in play in the third round (pick 103).
Jefferson is already 24-years-old and is a below average athlete—so we can slow our roll a little on the amount of hype he seems to be getting—but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a safe, high floor receiver for an Eagles team that is in need of immediate help at the position.
Check out the brakes on this guy:
Mind you that’s a rep against arguably the best corner in the entire country, Derek Stingley. Here’s more reps from that game, the first coming out of the slot against nickel corner Kary Vincent, then the final three against the aforementioned Stingley:
Jefferson isn’t explosive, but with that technique and footwork he doesn’t need to be. If he can routinely get open against LSU he can get open vs. just about anybody—it’s a shame he didn’t have a capable quarterback in his time with the Gators.
Here’s a little more of that yo-yo ability evaluators are raving about:
Jefferson will never be your number one target in the NFL, but he’ll be as reliable of a number two/three as they come. He can play outside obviously but I think he has much more value out of the slot—his release (while effective) can be slow and redundant when outside, and a receiver of his technique/footwork would be devastating with the two-way go from inside.
Jefferson also possesses good size at 6-foot-1 and long arms to match. Combine that with exceptional hands and he has the sort of catch radius Carson Wentz would love over the middle of the field.
It’s hard to know where he’s gonna fall in the draft given his age and lower ceiling, but if the Eagles are able to add a pick in the 80-100 range, or if Jefferson falls to 103 then he’d be a great addition. Adding a guy like Reagor at 21 then Jefferson in round three should satisfy a fan base desperate for youth at the receiver position.