Texas Longhorns: What Is Jackson Jeffcoat’s 2014 NFL Draft Stock?

Jody Gomez-USA Today Sports Images

CBS Sports has the Texas Longhorns Jackson Jeffcoat rated as the No.1 defensive end in the 2014 NFL draft.

That comes with a few shades of grey, of course. Jeffcoat spent the majority of the 2013 season sidelined by a ruptured pectoral he suffered in the Red River Rivalry game against Oklahoma. So, if a guy who spent most of 2013 injured is rated as the No.1 DE in next year’s draft, its either a weak year for DE’s or that particular player is really that good.

Jackson Jeffcoat is on the fringe of being that good.

I have a feeling the senior DE will live up to the projection with flying colors.

Why? The same reason QB David Ash and the rest of the Longhorns at skill positions will have breakthrough seasons next year — it lies within the make-up of the Big 12. Almost every other team besides Texas is on the verge of a down year. I’ve been a strong advocate of the Longhorns’ opportunity in 2013 to own the Big 12.

Despite playing on the other side of the ball, Jeffcoat’s opportunities on the field are a mirror image of Ash’s — a lot of expectations for a lot of reasons. Jeffcoat, despite the injury, is in the same spot Brian Orakpo was in entering his senior season; a lot of hype but well-deserved, nonetheless.

If Jeffcoat can stay free of injury in 2013, I think college football fans are going to see a team leader in tackles and sacks lead the Big 12, if not the entire nation, in the exact same category. Maybe not in every stat column, but, sacks and every other stat that dominant DEs compile are almost a guarantee.

Jeffcoat is on watch.

Play your cards right, Jackson. It doesn’t matter what the needs of NFL teams drafting in the top 10 next Spring may be; the 2013 season should leave no doubt that they need you.

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