A little less than two years away from being eligible to declare for the NFL Draft, Texas Longhorns sophomore linebacker Malik Jefferson is already drawing the attention of NFL scouts. And they like what they see on film:
NFL scouts are already raving about Malik Jefferson. The arrow is pointing way up on the Texas sophomore linebacker.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) May 4, 2016
Despite missing the Baylor game of the season due to injury and experiencing a major reduction in production due to a mysterious stomach ailment that plagued him for weeks, Jefferson led the team in pressures with six and was second in tackles with 61. The Freshman All-American also recorded seven tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, which he returned for a touchdown against Rice. Two of those sacks came in a special pass-rushing package against Oklahoma that defensive coordinator Vance Bedford didn't often employ last season.
Given that Bedford plans on using Jefferson off the edge more often and presumably more often as a blitzer, a full season of a healthy Jefferson used more effectively on defense on defense would seem to point towards a legitimate increase in production. Add in the fact that the sophomore should show a greater aptitude for playing a middle linebacker position that was foreign to him last season and it's easy to understand why scouts are raving out him so far out from the 2018 NFL Draft process.
So let's just take another gander at last season's highlights and remember that every day is Malikmas.