Photo courtesy of Florida Athletics
Another Florida Gator is off the board.
Wide receiver Van Jefferson was selected by the LA Rams in the 2nd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Jefferson was selected 57th overall, becoming the 2nd Florida player drafted so far.
Jefferson becomes the first Florida receiver selected since Antonio Callaway went to the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round in 2018.
The Rams continue to add pieces for Jared Goff, having just selected Florida State running back Cam Akers a few picks before. Jefferson joins Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp in what is now a loaded Rams receiver corps.
Accolades and Numbers
After three seasons at Ole Miss, Jefferson finished his collegiate career in Gainesville. In 2016, he was named a Freshman All-American for the Rebels.
Over his two years at Florida, Jefferson tallied 84 catches for 1,160 yards and 12 touchdowns. Jefferson played in every game in each of the last two seasons for the Gators and started all 13 this past season.
At 6-foot-2 and nearly 200 pounds, Jefferson is tough, but not known for the big play. For his collegiate career, he averaged just over 12 yards per catch. At Ole Miss and Florida combined, he recorded more than 2,100 yards receiving and 16 total touchdowns.
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What the Experts are Saying
Jefferson is also a solid athlete for the receiver position. His athleticism is apparent in the way he stops on a dime and changes direction in his routes, but he also offers value after the catch. He has solid vision in the open field and has enough spring in his step to make defenders miss. He has good body control and is able to make adjustments to the ball in order to make a grab.
Though Jefferson has the technique to consistently make plays, he doesn’t have standout physical tools to warrant a first-round pick. His deep speed is pretty average – he won’t be able to burn past some of the cornerbacks he matches up with on vertical routes. The moves he uses, though precise, can sometimes be limited in their effectiveness depending on how well he accelerates coming out of his breaks, and there are times when he doesn’t showcase much explosiveness.
Jefferson also doesn’t have top-notch physicality, despite having a bit of a bigger frame for a receiver. He can occasionally struggle to haul in the catch in tight-window situations, and his hands aren’t always strong enough to hold onto the ball when a defender is right on him. His production at both Florida and Ole Miss was solid, but he never had a standout statistical season. -Jacob Infante, NFL Draft Wire