Jeffery will Prove Many Wrong

Months of debate, discussion, examination.  Thursday evening the NFL will put all that to rest as they hold their annual College Football Draft in New York.  Excitement is predicted with surprises galore.

There is no secret in the first two picks.  Up until Monday there was no drama in the first three picks.  Now Minnesota, with the third pick, is wavering on Matt Kahil, the tackle out of USC.  In fact there are talks St. Louis might be interested in moving up to pick Alabama’s Trent Richardson.

Wide receiver is a talented position in this draft.  Sure the glamour pick is Justin Blackmon out of Oklahoma State.  Then you move to Michael Floyd of Notre Dame.  Then you have several players who are ranked virtually the same.

In this corner the feeling is the surprise receiver will pop out of South Carolina in Alshon Jeffery.  Jeffery didn’t impress anyone at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, yet came back in his Pro Day and blew the socks off scouts.

Working out in front of representatives from a number of NFL teams, Jeffery was clocked at 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash.  Almost a full second better than his time at the combine.

Jeffery went into the 2011 season regarded as one of the top prospects at his position in the 2012 NFL Draft. Most are concerned about his disappointing season with the Gamecocks and rumors about his conditioning conspired to push him down draft boards in the eyes of many.  However when Marcus Lattimore went down for the Gamecocks with an ACL injury, defenses knew the only weapon left was Jeffery.  So the double teams began and throwing to him almost impossible.

Jeffery’s reception total in 2011 dropped to 49 with 8 TD’s, down from the year before when he caught 88 passes for 9 TD’s.  Overall Jeffery caught 183 balls in his career and scored 23TD’s.  Cynics say Jeffery gave up after Lattimore went down.  Or you can blame the double teams.

Jeffery has the speed, and the size at 6’3.  Most draft experts say he is a second round pick and the 6th best WR in the draft.  The feeling here is he is the 3rd best receiver, but plugged into the right system, could be the best pro in the list of receivers.  He is a number one receiver for a team looking for a top flight pass catcher, such as the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns could pick Richardson with the 4th pick, then take Jeffery with the 22nd pick, or take the best tackle and hope Jeffery is there at 37.  According to many mock drafts, he will be.

Jeffery is one of the hidden gems in this draft and has been under a passing coach in Steve Spurrier for three years.  Now is the time he proves his worth.

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