April 23, 2005

DT Jason Jefferson, Wisconsin

193nd Overall Selection - Sixth round
DT Jason Jefferson, Wisconsin
6'1", 306

Big, unremarkable, durable nose tackle-type interior defensive lineman who got looked at in a lot of film because he lined up next to more heralded Antajj Hawthorne at Wisconsin. Tough against the run, his clear strength, and even in college was not a pass rushing factor. Strong and somewhat explosive but not fast. Lacks dominating size but leverages well. Struggled against double teams, should benefit from John Pease and really needs to develop some pass rush moves. Played offensive line in high school. Like many big men will need to monitor his weight and keep it down. Needs to improve his functional strength, pressed 225 pounds on 19 times at the Combine. Great value pick here, Jefferson carried third or fourth round grades and slid to the sixth round. NFL future is likely as a role player, two-down lineman. Mature player, is 24 as a rookie.

Saints Impact: Saints have an active lineman in Brian Young and when they slide Darren Howard and Willie Whitehead inside they need a big run-plugged next to them. That's why they look a guy like Rodney Leisle last year and now Jefferson. Jefferson is a good pickup based on value and need. May not contribute right away, as Leisle was a 5th round pick and didn't see the field as a rookie. Unremarkable defensive linemen like Leisle and Jefferson slip on draft day, as both of these players with similar strengths were projected early in the second day or late third round picks.

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