Van Jefferson lands in the Rams pass-happy offense with the 57th overall pick. He will likely compete with Josh Reynolds to take the snaps and targets left behind after Brandin Cooks was traded to the Texans, giving the Rams a good problem.
Jefferson is the son of Shawn Jefferson, a former NFL receiver and assistant coach with the Jets. That background has helped Jefferson become one of the more well rounded receivers in the draft. Unfortunately, he couldn’t break out as a true No. 1 in college. After transferring to Florida, he did lead the team in receptions both seasons, but he did lead the team in receiving with 35 receptions, 503 yards, and six touchdowns as a junior, then 49 receptions, 657 yards, and six touchdowns as a senior,
Jefferson is one of the best route runners in the draft, which he needs due to his average athleticism. He will have trouble separating on the outside in the NFL, but in the slot, he should be able to win with his technique. We’ve seen plenty of slot receivers in the NFL succeed with route running over speed and a huge catch radius and Jefferson is set up to do just that in his career.
Fantasy football impact
Jefferson might have trouble getting on the field to start his career, as he is better in the slot than outside and Cooper Kupp is their slot receiver at the moment. Jefferson can get open, but will have trouble with press coverage, especially his rookie year.
Jefferson should be able to stick in the NFL, as he’ll come into the league adept at his position. His upside is limited due to his average size and speed, but there’s no reason he can’t be a strong PPR slot receiver once he wins the job.