Former Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson established himself as a productive back in his freshman season, and he is set to try and make a difference with his NFL team. Though he is not rated among the elite running backs in this draft class, Jefferson could be a valuable asset right away depending on where he lands.
Jefferson rushed for 1,380 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018 to go along with 25 receptions for 147 yards. He played just 15 games his final two seasons due to an injury and the COVID-19 pandemic. Jefferson averaged 5.7 yards per carry over his three years of college football.
One of Jefferson’s biggest strengths is his balance, which leads to plenty of yards after contact. He did not play for a very good program at Oregon State, but he proved to still be an effective runner as a workhorse back in the Pac-12. Jefferson will need to be a more effective pass catcher, and he does not have elite speed compared to the rest of this draft class.
Mock Draft landing spots
Josh Edwards of CBS Sports had Jefferson to the sixth round and No. 190 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals, and he is headed to the sixth round at No. 202 overall to the New York Giants from CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso.
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
Running back is a rare position where players can have a fairly sizeable impact in the NFL in their first season. It would certainly help Jefferson’s case if he became more of a threat in the passing game, but he proved he can handle a large workload in the backfield. Depending on where he lands, he could find a role right away, but he will likely have a low ceiling in Year 1.
Fantasy impact: Career
Jefferson could prove to be a quality running back throughout his career in the NFL. He may not have the upside of some of the ball carriers in this draft class, but there wasn’t much to show he cannot be effective with a large volume of touches. Will he ever find himself as a team’s go-to back? It’s tough to project as so many teams go with a running back by committee approach in the NFL, but he should be able to carve out a role in the league.