According to The Draft Network’s Justin Melo, the Indianapolis Colts met virtually recently with Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson before the upcoming NFL Draft—among other NFL teams:
Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson has recently met virtually with the #49ers, #Patriots, #Packers, #Jets & #Colts. #NFLDraft— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) February 18, 2021
The 5’10”, 217 pound junior running back had 858 rushing yards on 133 carries (6.5 ypc. avg.) and 7 rushing touchdowns, as well as 9 receptions for 67 receiving yards (7.4 ypr. avg.) during 6 starts for the Beavers in 2020.
This past season, Jefferson was named the AP’s co-Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year, a member of the First-Team All-Pac 12 team, and was a semi-finalist for the Doak Walker Award—which is given annually to the top running back in college football.
Here’s what they’re saying on Jefferson:
RB Jermar Jefferson has outstanding patience, feel, timing for the zone run game...— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 19, 2021
One of the best runners this class in hitting the cutback lane/alleys... Ideal for wide zone team, IMO pic.twitter.com/8HJ20bkgKl
Jermar Jefferson doesn’t have elite long/homerun speed - and that’s ok!— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 19, 2021
He’s exceptionally quick in/out of cuts. Short area bursts are elite! Can accelerate instantly off a plant. He’s upright and swift - easy to see why I call these types ‘Slashers’
Recently met with Packers pic.twitter.com/RLHkMpzZ5W
My vote for Day 3 RB with the best vision - Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 18, 2021
Perfect style for OZ fit. He’s upright, high cut, leggy. Can be patient behind LOS and then accelerate/dart through the defense. Might be my favorite slasher type of back in the class https://t.co/KFFkZu9seW
Textbook cutback by Jermar Jefferson on wide zone. RG unable to reach DE, triggers cutback read. Pay close attention to how Jefferson cuts *upfield* (not laterally) anticipating movement based on his blockers’ leverage. pic.twitter.com/5Y4pwF6fcd— J Moyer (@JMoyerFB) February 21, 2021
If you're looking for an explosive play from the RB position, Jermar Jefferson can hang with the best of them. pic.twitter.com/6vO0fUXmej— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) February 17, 2021
Love the suddenness out of the jump cut from Jermar Jefferson on this play. Also does a great job pressing inside and luring the defense to give himself the outside lane. Like what I see from him so far.#NFLDraft #NFLTwitter pic.twitter.com/NSLsFgzwo2— Dynasty Mark (@Dynasty_Mark) February 16, 2021
So, Jermar Jefferson can ball.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 15, 2021
Perfect fit for any zone team. Jefferson is the perfect encapsulation of explosiveness and elusiveness to fit into that scheme like a glove.
And since the Steelers may be moving in a more zone heavy route, I like the fit here.
Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson has declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 24, 2020
2nd-most carries of 10+ yards in the PAC-12 since 2018 (78) pic.twitter.com/cHIYz9QLKH
Eno! There was little doubt he was the most explosive running back in the Pac-12 this season. He produced 47 runs of 10 or more yards, but Jermar Jefferson wasn't too far behind. pic.twitter.com/I4x4nhkxa3— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 5, 2019
ards per carry against 8+ box defenders in 2020:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 13, 2021
Jermar Jefferson, Oregon St - 8.4 pic.twitter.com/DR2ZhRDkct
Jefferson seems like a natural fit in the Colts’ zone-blocking rushing scheme—with his highly regarded vision and has big play ability with his exceptional elusiveness/speed.
Of course, the Colts have an already crowded backfield with Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins in the fold—even with former starter (and free agent) Marlon Mack unlikely to return this offseason.
That being said, both Hines and Wilkins are free agents after the 2021 season, so the Colts could look at drafting running back depth a year early—with Jefferson as a potential target (who’s a currently projected late Day 2/early Day 3 pick), and giving him a season to learn the ropes and play in Indy’s system for insurance purposes with an eye toward 2022.