Scouting Report, Video Highlights and Predictions for 5-Star OLB Malik Jefferson
Malik Jefferson is a 5-star linebacker from Texas who is one of the best overall players in the country. An incredible talent, Jefferson has the potential to win a lot of different awards in college.
His fantastic skill set has attracted the nation's best programs. Jefferson has offers from just about every major school in the country, and he could be ready to play immediately as a true freshman.
His talent warrants a closer look.
Who Is Malik Jefferson?
Jefferson is a Texan from Mesquite who plays for Poteet High School. He started to make a name for himself as a sophomore in 2012, when he finished the season with 105 tackles and seven sacks, per 247Sports.
He had 93 tackles and 14 sacks as a junior, which helped him secure an early invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Jefferson, who has a brother who plays at North Texas, has been invited to The Opening this summer, according to Gabe Brooks of Scout.com.
Malik Jefferson's Scouting Reports: Strengths
At 6'2" and 225 pounds, Jefferson is an exceptional athlete who moves like a college player already. He's a versatile 'backer who can play across the second level, as well as the 3-4 outside linebacker position.
The Texan has excellent instincts, and he can even match wits with quarterbacks by making checks in the pre-snap phase of a play. Jefferson rarely takes a false step when attacking the line of scrimmage, as he explodes out of his stance after making his reads.
He doesn't get tricked by misdirection and play-fakes frequently, which allows him to seek the ball quicker. Jefferson is advanced for a high school player when it comes to hand-usage and block-shedding. He knows how to properly strike targets at the point of attack, then he quickly sheds to get free and back on track to finding the ball.
Jefferson's athleticism and range allow him to track running backs across the box with ease. He also has the explosiveness to crash off the edge as a speed-rusher. Finally, Jefferson has the movement skills and fluidity to buzz back into coverage on passing downs to insert himself into passing lanes.
Malik Jefferson's Scouting Report: Weaknesses
Jefferson has solid size, but he'll need to put on a few more pounds in college to withstand the physical punishment.
He also could improve his wrap-tackling consistency, as he can head-duck and lunge too much. Jefferson also needs to continue getting better at recognizing routes and anticipating breaks better in coverage.
Junior Highlights of Malik Jefferson
If the play at 0:31 isn't an exceptional example of athleticism, then whatever is a superior example must be better than sliced bread. Some of the plays Jefferson makes during this highlight reel are sensational.
Sophomore Highlights of Malik Jefferson
Here's a look at Jefferson terrorizing offenses in Texas as a sophomore. He appears to play in a scheme that has him working as a hybrid 3-4 outside linebacker/traditional 4-3 outside linebacker.
Jefferson has a ton of offers, with Alabama and Texas A&M being his leaders, according to 247Sports. He fits both respective schools' schemes, as he can play outside linebacker in Bama's base 3-4 alignment, or outside linebacker in the Aggies' versatile 4-3 defense.
In the end, look for the Texan to opt to stay in his native state and head to College Station. He'll be ready to contribute as a true freshman, and he will be an All-SEC performer as a sophomore.
Jason Suchomel of OrangeBloods.com (subscription required) wrote on March 11:
He doesn't plan on announcing a decision until after his senior season concludes.