Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson warms up prior to the Longhorns game against Texas Tech at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock Saturday November 5, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

Is there a future NFL star on the Longhorns’ defense? NFL.com says yes

Posted June 21st, 2017


Texas’ defense was not great last season. Anyone who watched the Longhorns in 2016 knows this. Texas fired its defensive coordinator mid-season, struggled to stop the run, struggled in the redzone –  it wasn’t great.

But that doesn’t mean Texas didn’t have NFL prospects on defense.

Lots has been made of Malik Jefferson’s sophomore slump, but no one is selling his NFL stock, including a writer at the NFL’s own website.


The junior-to-be linebacker is listed as one of the 17 future stars on defense. NFL writer Chase Goodbread, says of Jefferson: “The Longhorns have the most promising defensive player in the Big 12 in Jefferson, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound cornerstone for new coach Tom Herman’s first defense at UT.”

On national signing day earlier this year, Texas coach Tom Herman refused to say whether Jefferson would be a starter on defense, giving a cliché line about how no one is penciled in as a starter, but it’s safe to say that Jefferson is likely going to be starting for the Longhorns next season.

Goodbread isn’t the only writer high on the former 5-star recruit. Most way-too-early mock drafts have Jefferson going within in the top 15 picks of next season’s draft. Of course, he has to declare first, as Jefferson is only a junior.

News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.