Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Dec 2013

RSP Flashback: Alshon Jeffery Pre-Draft Analysis

How did Matt Waldman grade Alshon Jeffery pre-draft? A potential stylistic cross between Michael Irvin and Cris Carter if Jeffery demonstrates he wants to work like a pro. Read the rest at the RSP Blog.

Posted by: Matt Waldman on 10 Dec 2013

18 comments, Last at 21 Jan 2014, 9:25am by Pandora Bracelets Clearance


by TomC :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 11:24am

Good insight about his physical play and needing to learn to do it without getting flagged. He had what should have been a breakout game in the second Bears-Packers game last year, but every time he made one of those plays (like he made last night), he got called for OPI (three times, which is the most I've ever seen for one receiver in a game). It was clear that if he could either figure out how to do it more subtly or get enough respect to have at least some of them not called, he'd be a beast.

by Roch Bear :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 7:35pm

Was that 3-OPI game vs. the Packers last year a total outlier? I don't recall much else in the OPI line from him last year (nor this year).

Speaking of flashbacks, it is amusing to think of Earl Bennett as the big physical Bear receiver two years ago, in a 3-wide set with Johnny Knox and Hester.

by Kal :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 1:00pm

What's most impressive to me is his catching abilities. I didn't see the indication of how great hand skills he has now. Some of those catches have been unreal.

by tuluse :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 1:03pm

He has really learned to catch with his hands as the cliche goes. He is always sticking them out and catching the ball away from his body. Even last year was making impressive grabs on a regular basis, he was just also not making routine grabs on regular basis.

I'm not sure I would describe him as having soft hands, but his ability to pluck the ball out of the air is amazing.

by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 1:52pm

Plucking the ball out of the air certainly fits with the Cris Carter comparison.

by Boots Day :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 1:59pm

Raiderjoe tweeted last night that the only reason Jeffery fell to the second round was because NFL scouts thought he was too fat.

Of course, I trust Raiderjoe's judgment 100 percent.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 2:22pm

It's true, there was a lot of talk that he was fat, slow and lazy. His football ability was never really called into question but then he showed up at the combine fat, ran slow and this confirmed the idea that many people had that he was lazy.

He looks in much better shape now than he did in college.

by nath :: Thu, 12/12/2013 - 9:32am

He ran a 4.48 40. The fact that Stephen Hill went ahead of him for running two-tenths of a second faster despite showing no ability to play the receiver position at a high level says all you need to know about how teams continue to screw up the draft process.

I always thought Jeffery was going to be the steal of the draft. You simply don't put up numbers like he did at South Carolina unless you have NFL talent. Body control and great hands are far more important than shaving hundredths of a second off a 40 time.

by TomC :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 2:28pm

The rest of that Bears draft looks awful now (first rounder is an undersized DE who gets QB pressure about once every four games and is useless against the run, third-rounder got hurt his first pre-season and will probably never play a down of regular-season football, fourth-rounder got arrested too many times and cut...), but if you're going to have a one-player draft, it's looking like that was a hell of a one player.

by Bobman :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 5:23pm

Has he ever steered you wrong on a beer recommendation before? Or been wrong on a freakish number of obscure 1970s NFL trivia items? Excluding the Raiders, I'd listen to RJ before a vast number of mainstream media guys.

by Boots Day :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 6:32pm

I wasn't being sarcastic.

by RickD :: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 7:00pm

You might want to dial down to 99%. Trusting RJ on anything relating to "Will the Raiders win the AFC West?" is a very bad idea.

by Otis Taylor89 :: Wed, 12/11/2013 - 1:11pm

He was right in 2002, right?

Raiderjoe=Blind squirrel on actual Raiders team projections.

by Otis Taylor89 :: Wed, 12/11/2013 - 1:23pm

OK, I know that the defense sucks now, but how can the Bears be only 7-6 when they have not one, but two beasts on the outside that need to be doubled a lot?
Jeffery passed the eyeball test to me at USC and was surprised he didn't get much fanfare coming out. I'm hoping the Pats Aaron Dobson turns into something similar with some added weight, but seems like that is asking too much.

by nath :: Thu, 12/12/2013 - 9:36am

Jeffery's talent was obvious to anyone who watched him play at South Carolina, or even anyone who looked at his numbers from sophomore year.

Seems like, reading Matt's analysis, that the biggest concerns with Jeffery were consistency and the fact that he doesn't "look" like a fluid athlete. (And that he looked fat his last season at South Carolina.) Turns out, being able to catch very well and being able to use your body and hands to make difficult catches even when well-covered are more important than how well your gait compares to a gazelle's.

by tuluse :: Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:53pm

He was really inconsistent last year, and no one knew how he would respond to NFL coaching. There have been plenty of physically talented players who flamed out.

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