Oklahoma Safety Tony Jefferson: 2013 NFL Draft Profile

Joe Robbins

All-American safety Tony Jefferson recorded 258 tackles, seven sacks and eight interceptions during his three seasons at Oklahoma.

THOUGH SHORTER THAN MOST TOP SAFETY PROSPECTS, JEFFERSON'S LEADERSHIP SKILLS,PHYSICALITY AROUND THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE AND HIS COVERAGE SKILLS WILL ENTICE TEAMS TO PICK HIM EARLY IN THE 2013 DRAFT. -NFL.com

Tony Jefferson was an immediate impact player at Oklahoma. He helped the Sooners win the 2010 Big 12 championship, and end a BCS bowl losing streak, as a true freshman. Following that season he was named the Big 12's Defensive Freshman of the Year and was a first team freshman All-American.

After placing third on the team in total tackles as a sophomore (2011), Jefferson returned to All-Big 12 status following his junior season in 2012. Choosing to make it his last season in the crimson and cream, Jefferson led Oklahoma in tackles, and was second in the Big 12, with 119 total tackles.

Tony Jefferson will enter the NFL having not yet reached his full potential. Which ever team that decides to select him isn't necessarily getting a project at safety, rather they're getting a player who is a talented defender that is still developing his game.

Vitals

HT 5-11
WT 213
40 4.75
Draft Grade 73.2

Career Moment 10-01-11

Jefferson recorded four interceptions as a sophomore in 2011. Three of those came in the same game against Ball State when he tied a Sooner record with three interceptions. A one-man wrecking crew, Jefferson ended three consecutive Ball State drives with an INT. He also recorded five tackles in that game.

Jefferson's other interception that season came against Texas.

Strengths

Athleticism

Jefferson is able to play the field and use his skill and body in various types of coverage. Defensive coordinators can use him in run support, line him up against a slot receiver, or put him high on an outside receiver. Also able to cover running backs out of the backfield and take away a quarterback's safety valve.

Strong Blitzer

Is able to be explosive, at the snap, to allow himself to get into the backfield quickly. Able to shuck blocks regularly in order to make a play on the quarterback.

Hard Hitter

Jefferson can certainly lay the wood. Once he has a ball-carrier in his sights he's able to lower the boom. Electrifying hits are scattered throughout his highlight reels but there's also a few highlights of him lowering his head and missing all together.

Weaknesses

Size

Jefferson lacks the size of a prototypical NFL safety but that hasn't stopped guys like Troy Polamalu. He's going to have to prove that he won't get swallowed up by bigger linemen and tight ends coming to block.

Speed

His speed can cause him to fall behind receivers on crossing patterns. To correct this he'll need to learn to stay lower in his backpedal and keep his feet moving when lined up off the slot receiver. Doing this will help him maintain his cushion a little longer.

Projections

Multiple teams have shown interest in Jefferson. The Oakland Raiders would be a "home team" for the California native, and the New England Patriots have him on their radar, but the Dallas Cowboys are rumored to be looking for him in the third round.

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