Jeffcoat was a backup as a freshman in 2010. Still, he had 13 tackles with three tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and one pass breakup. Jeffcoat earned a starting job at right defensive end last year, but he had a slow start the season.
Jeffcoat had zero sacks and three tackles for a loss in the first six games. After that, the sophomore flipped the switch and finished the year with 7.5 sacks in the final seven games. He totaled 54 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss and three passes batted on the season.
Texas A&M and its elite left tackle, Luke Joeckel, held Jeffcoat in check. He got a few pressures on rushes versus Joeckel, but, overall, Jeffcoat was a non-factor in that game. Jeffcoat was really pushed around by Joeckel in the ground game, allowing the Aggies tackle to open up some holes.
Jeffcoat bounced back from that, abusing two well-regarded Big XII offensive tackles, Kansas' Tanner Hawkinson and Texas Tech's LaAdrian Waddle. Jeffcoat also had big games against Kansas State, California and Missouri. He made some big plays against the Golden Bears to help the Longhorns to get the win in their Bowl game.
However, Jeffcoat was generally held in check by California's offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, a future second-round pick by the Browns.
2012 Season Outlook:
Jeffcoat should be primed for a big season. He will get plenty of opportunities to rush the passer given the passing-driven nature of the Big XII. With teammate Alex Okafor on the other side of the line, Jeffcoat should still see plenty of one-on-one pass-rushing opportunities. There aren't many special tackles on Texas' schedule, and with Texas A&M moving to the SEC, that takes away a rematch against the Aggies' standout offensive tackles.
There is no reason to think that the junior won't play better this season. He has a year of starting experience in the Big XII and good talent around him. If Jeffcoat added some more bulk and functional strength this offseason, he could be even better in 2012.
Jeffcoat is very fast and athletic. He has real pass-rushing potential for the NFL. Jeffcoat has a some serious quickness and agility to move around offensive tackles in order to make plays in the backfield. He also has some physicality when battling tackles and making tackles.
Jeffcoat has a real burst off the edge that puts tackles on their heels. He has the speed to turn the corner and the agility to drop his hips or shoulder to get pointed to the quarterback. For the NFL, Jeffcoat needs to continue to develop his pass -ushing moves. He has a great starting point and showed real skill to get to the quarterback in the second half of the 2011 season.
Jeffcoat needs to improve as a run defender by increasing his strength to shed blocks at the point of attack. Too often, he lets tackles sustain their blocks. Jeffcoat also could use more bulk and power to hold his ground at the line of scrimmage and not get pushed out of his gap. He did well in run defense against lesser offensive tackles.
Again, the most critical need for Jeffcoat to improve his overall game is adding more strength. He has the frame to carry weight in the 260s and 270s. If Jeffcoar can add that while maintaing his burst and speed, he could turn into a dominant defensive end in college and possibly the pros.
Texas used the athletic Jeffcoat in a variety of ways. He rushed as a standup outside linebacker, put his hand on the ground as a defensive end, dropped into pass coverage as a linebacker and even played some defensive tackle. Jeffcoat lost some pass-rushing opportunities as a result of that variety, and he could have had bigger defenseove totals if Texas had let him go after the quarterback in every possible passing situation. However, NFL 3-4 defenses are going to love seeing Jeffcoat have that kind of versatile preparation.
Assuming the junior fills out his frame, he will be an option for a 4-3 or 3-4 defenses. Right now. his best fit would probably be as a stand-up rush-linebacker in the 3-4. The scheme flexibility that Jeffcoat possesses will open up more teams to considering him for their defenses.
Jeffcoat has good bloodlines. His father Jim Jeffcoat had a long NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills.
2013 Draft Expectations:
Jackson Jeffcoat looks like a future first-rounder assuming he continues to develop. If Jeffcoat gets stronger and increases his production to reach or approach double-digit sacks, he should be a Thursday night pick if he comes out for the 2013 NFL Draft.