No matter the knocks on Alshon Jeffery over the course of the past year – too fat, too slow, can’t separate – Gamecock fans, including myself, have always considered #1 a lock for the first round fo the NFL Draft. Heck, I would’ve even bet a significant amount of cash the he would be a top 15 pick, even after a sub-sub-par junior season.
But after basically no-showing at the NFL Combine, you have to wonder what he and his advisors were thinking.
The weekend started off well enough, when Jeffery came in for measurements and weighed in at a svelte 216 lbs., well below the 230 lbs. or so at which he was rumored to be packing. The fact he was measured at 6’3″ tall instead of his listed height all three years at USC – 6’4″ – seemed to be a non-issue.
Then there was the announcement that he would not be running the 40 at the combine. OK, fine. Justin Blackmon, considered to be the only receiver better than Jeffery in this year’s crop, wasn’t running either due to a bum hamstring.
But then came the shocking news that Jeffery wouldn’t be doing ANYTHING at the combine. No bench press, no vertical, no route-running, no over-the-shoulder catches, nada, nothing.
What did the NFL folks think of this? Not much. Not much at all. Gil Brandt, a long-time NFL talent evaluator, said this about the situation:
I am disappointed. Jeffery will be able to do the same drills at South Carolina’s pro day on March 28, but it won’t be nearly as well attended by NFL personnel as the combine. The guy had a chance to show what he can do. Right now, there is a lot of apprehension about the guy. I can’t tell you why the guy wouldn’t run or work out.
Then today, Peter King of Sports Illustrated, maybe the most in-the-know media guy there is when it comes to the NFL, wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback column:
The receiver order: Looks like Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd of Notre Dame will be the only wideouts in round one, unless (Stephen) Hill sneaks in there. Reuben Randle of LSU and Rutgers’ Mohamed Sanu (the Bucs and new coach Greg Schiano want him) could go 4-5 unless Baylor’s Kendall Wright overcomes a lousy combine.
Notice anyone missing? Is it possible that by not working out at the combine Alshon has dropped from the second receiver taken to the sixth? And if he’s the sixth receiver taken, is it out of the question he drops all the way to the third round?
One of the big knocks on Alshon was taken care of when he stepped on the scale on Friday.
But by not working out with the other receivers over the weekend, he came off as if he’s hiding something. NFL folks don’t like that, and unfortunately Alshon is probably going to pay by sliding down the draft board.
Unless he has one helluva Pro Day.