Predicting his 2013 NFL Draft projections is hard because Tony Jefferson has had an interesting career with the Oklahoma Sooners. He came in as an exciting player, a flexible defensive back who drew comparisons to Sooners’ legend Roy Williams. He leaves OU with a reputation as a playmaker who never reached the level of excellence of Williams. Since Williams had a Pro Bowl, but unspectacular career in the NFL, one has to wonder if that will hurt Jefferson’s chances.
In 2011, Travis Lewis chose to return for his senior season, despite being a decent NFL Draft prospect. He injured himself in his senior year and that hurt his draft stock coming out in 2012. Jefferson didn’t take that chance, but without superstar games in college, he might not see much better when waiting to hear his name called. Based on his pure athleticism alone, some project him to go on the second day, in either the second or third round.
He played a lot at OU as a spy on the defense, something he won’t be required to do in the NFL. That means that Jefferson will need to work hard on developing his skills at the safety position as well as improving his mental state, as he was prone to mistakes in his college career. However, he does have a good nose for the ball, loves to blitz and is a playmaker in the open field.
Tony Jefferson started his entire college career, first as a fifth defensive back in his freshman hear and then as a first-team Big 12 defender by his junior season when he led the Sooners with 119 tackles, two interceptions and three passes defensed. He won’t be an elite NFL player, but should be a nice role player over time for whoever takes the chance on drafting him.
Tony Jefferson NFL Draft Projection: Third Round