2020 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Justin Jefferson
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 193 pounds
To his credit, Jefferson looks the ball in with eyes, snaring it with timing. As a result, he pivots quickly, bolting downfield. Not to mention, his catch radius and target angles provide his quarterback an array of opening to fit the ball through. Plus, Jefferson will make the contested or contacted catch. With a defender either bearing down on him or grabbing, Jefferson gives his offense the opportunity to make a play. he will extend and expose his body horizontally to make a grab. Despite knowing the hit approaches, he will not brace.
At the snap, he will offer little rockback and commit the first step to jumping into the route. With a diverse route tree, arrives the subtle nuance. Although LSU called a run, film shows Jefferson sell the out pattern with a sharp cut and shoulder. The defender bought it enough to stop. More importantly, in scramble situations, he will keep working, whether back to the quarterback or vertically.
Long-legged, Jefferson makes up strides easy and effortlessly with his gait. At the next level, he will continue to excel down the field. Regardless of time, he will challenge corners and eventually safeties to stay with his stride.
Despite signing a lucrative contract, the Raiders must be disappointed in Tyrell Williams and the receiving corps. If you look at Williams, in particular, he does not resemble a leader of a receiving unit. First, while his fifteen yards per grab appeals to many, the deeper numbers paint a worse picture. The five drops hurt the offense by stopping drives or wasting downs. Granted, every wideout will drop an occasional pass, but Williams’ bobbles feel more egregious as he looked wide open. He’s dropped twice as many passes in 2019 than he did all of last year. In addition, the ability to gain extra yardage after the catch remains a head-scratcher. In 2019, Williams averages less than four yards post-catch. Last season, he tallied a 4.8 yard clip.
Jon Gruden prefers taller outside receivers. In his offense, that height should pay dividends in the red zone and shots downfield. Standing 6’3”, Jefferson fills the bill. More importantly, he provides the a target that can actually gain effective separation. That is to say, he gets open quickly. Stats can be manipulated and paint a picture of separation that does not exist. From snap to whistle, Jefferson can find a seam, a spot or crease that allows the ball to find him. Moreover, the Raiders need a trusted number two that provides route versatility with a sense of immediacy. Jefferson blends into the offense, regardless of what the scheme is. When the team enters the Vegas Era, the need for athletic playmakers become a priority. With a Day Two selection, Jefferson can ease into the number two role, whether the team keeps Tyrell Williams or attempt to bring in another number one.