2021 NFL Draft: Jermar Jefferson Player Profile

Jermar Jefferson 2021 NFL Draft Overview

Position: Running Back
Height: 5’-10”
Weight: 206 pounds
School: Oregon State

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Jermar Jefferson 2021 NFL Draft Profile

After spending the past three seasons as a crucial part of the Oregon State rushing attack, running back Jermar Jefferson is skipping his final year of eligibility to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. The big-bodied running back is coming off arguably his best season to date, racking up 858 yards and seven touchdowns on just 133 attempts (6.5 yards-per-carry). Additionally, Jefferson added another nine receptions for 67 yards on 11 targets.

Jefferson initially entered the college football ranks as a three-star recruit, according to 24/7 Sports. Despite his relatively-underwhelming status, Jefferson received quite a bit of interest before committing to Oregon State. That decision paid off immediately, as the California native immediately became the top running back on the depth chart.

As a true freshman, Jefferson lit up the stat sheet to the tune of 1,374 yards and 12 touchdowns on 239 carries (5.7 yards-per-carry). Additionally, Jefferson added another 25 receptions for 147 yards on 27 targets. While his sophomore season wasn’t quite as good, he still recorded 688 yards and eight touchdowns on 143 carries (4.8 yards-per-carry).

Strengths

  • Old-school runner that can break tackles without thinking twice;
  • Good at reading his blocks and pacing his runs to maximize yardage;
  • Hard to take down if he’s got some steam built up;
  • 81st percentile college dominator;
  • Has been an important part of the offense since his age-18 season – breakout age matters.

Weaknesses

  • 5th percentile SPARQ-x score with absolutely no top speed;
  • Doesn’t have much in terms of explosive potential;
  • Doesn’t contribute to the passing game;
  • Struggles to break tackles in the backfield – needs to build up speed first;
  • Not a sharp cutter.

NFL Comparison: LeGarrette Blount

Teams With Need At Position: Pittsburgh SteelersNew England PatriotsTampa Bay BuccaneersDetroit Lions

Projection: 4th/5th Round

Bottom Line on Jermar Jefferson

Running backs are a dime a dozen in today’s NFL, and Jermar Jefferson doesn’t do anything to break that mold. This isn’t to say he doesn’t belong in the NFL – he definitely does. He’s a blast to watch, as the 5’-10”, 206-pound running back plays like an absolute battering ram if he’s got a head of steam under him. Arm tackles do not break him down, and cornerbacks are not going to like tackling him in the open field. He trusts his blocking scheme and the fact that he’s been such a major part of his offense for such a long time shows that the coaching staff really liked him.

That said, it’s hard to see him turning into anything more than a replacement-level ball carrier. Athleticism is everything in today’s NFL, and Jefferson is one of the most unathletic prospects at his position. The film shows a clear lack of breakaway speed, and his Pro Day testing numbers confirmed it. On top of that, he doesn’t do much of anything as a receiver or a pass blocker, so he won’t the field on anything other than clear running situations.

Jermar Jefferson will probably spend the majority of his career as the second-fiddle in a committee backfield. However, he has the build to handle a starter’s workload, and I think he could be ok in that role. However, his lack of big-play potential will always have teams looking for someone better.

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