2012 Who Ya Gonna Draft? – Alshon Jeffery

PJD is on vacation. During this time, we’ve decided we’ll take a quick look at potential Minnesota Vikings draft picks for the second or later rounds. With so many needs and so many draft picks to get this team back to a place where we can at least pretend they are respectable, we’ll have plenty of ground to cover. Let us know what you think of each prospect in the comments, and whether or not they’d be a good fit or impact player, and of course if you can think of a funny nickname for them.

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Today, we check out South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

From ESPN’s analysis (because everyone everywhere sucks at draft prospecting anyway, why not use them?):

Overall Football Traits

Production 1 “2009: (13/7) 46 catches, 763 yards (16.6 avg.), 6 TD. 2010: (14/14) 88 catches, 1,517 yards (17.2), 9 TD.”
Height-Weight-Speed 2 Possesses prototypical size for a No. 1 WR in the NFL. Top-end speed is adequate-to-good considering his elite size for the position.
Durability 1 Has played in all 27 games during first two seasons at South Carolina and has a 21 game starting streak entering the 2011 season.
Intangibles 2 “Considered to be one of the hardest working players on South Carolina team. Willing to pay the price. Coaches have nothing but positive things to say about Jeffrey’s character and intangibles. Knows what it takes to be a winner. Attended Calhoun County High School (S.C), where he was a member of a four-time state title winning basketball team (80-0 record). Had an ‘academic issue’ according to coach Steve Spurrier that caused him to miss a spring practice in 2010. “

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Wide Receiver Specific Traits

Separation Skills 2 “Displays below average initial burst off the line and takes a bit too long to reach full speed. Gets away with some sloppy route running and will need to be more polished in order to maximize his tools in the NFL. Also needs to improve his hand usage and overall technique working against press coverage. However, he’s a smooth-moving glider with a natural feel for finding soft spots in zone coverage. Does a nice job with the tempo of his routes. Will occasionally lull DBs to sleep with sluggish first move before throwing it into high gear. Lacks great top-end speed but does show some burst out of his breaks and good closing burst when the ball is in the air. Is very effective using his massive frame to post-up DB’s and frequently separates at the last second. “
Ball Skills 1 “Has an enormous pass-catching radius. Has long arms and big, strong hands. Can pluck on the run. Engulfs the football. Shows good natural hand-eye coordination and focus. Not fazed by defenders around him and makes tough catches in traffic look easy. One of the better WRs in the country at tracking the ball vertically. Gets his head turned around quickly, locates the ball and attacks it at its highest point. Shows very good balance and body control for a big WR. Consistently shows the ability to catch the ball thrown outside his frame. Does a very good job of catching over his head.”
Big play ability 2 “Similar combination of size-athletic ability to Jonathan Baldwin (Chiefs’ 1st rd pick 2011) but a notch below Baldwin in terms of initial burst and top-end speed. Will not outrun many DB’s in one-on-one situations. But he’s a smooth moving athlete with rare size, which makes him a matchup nightmare on the perimeter. He wins a high percentage of jump ball opportunities. Shows a knack for making big plays on fade routes. Is a huge redzone threat. Lacks good initial burst after the catch and is not very elusive in space. He builds speed as he goes and he can be tough to bring down when he gets a head of steam. But overall, he’s a much bigger vertical threat than he is a run-after-catch weapon.”
Competitiveness 2 “Clutch performer. Plays big in big games (In 2010, 8-192-2 vs. AUB; 7-127 vs. ALA; and 9-130 vs. FSU in 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl). Has no fear going over the middle and consistently secures the football despite taking big hits immediately after the catch. Is tall with long arms and good strength for the WR position. Not an overly physical blocker and could do a better job sustaining at times. But more often than not he gets in solid position and is able to wall off the DB. Goes through the motions a little bit when he’s a decoy or not a primary target in the play. Could do a better job of selling fake screens and running backside routes. “

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

I like Alshon Jeffery for our play-making receiver that we draft this year. He’d be a real good get in the 2nd round, which he’ll likely slip to around our pick, as he’s also the 44th highest rated prospect. The guy has great size (6’4″) and has kept his weight down going into the combine (around 215 or so, down from 230+). He was dynamic in the SEC his last two years of college, and could potentially develop into that go-to receiver the Vikings need opposite Percy and … I don’t know, let’s keep with Michael Jenkins. The key will be what his speed ends up being, but having watched him play a couple of times, I’m not super worried about it.

What I am worried about? Whether Alshon turns into a Troy Williamson instead of a Sidney Rice, both Game”cocks” alums. PLEASEBESIDNEYRICEMINUSTHEBITCHASSNESS!

What say you?

PJD

About PJD

I once saw Paul Edinger kick a 56-yard field goal for the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers to win a game in the Metrodome. It was exhilarating.

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