Tony Jefferson, a Raider?

By: PFC Draft Lead Writer Josh Ready @GetReady88

 

Tony Jefferson, safety out of Oklahoma, says that growing up he was quite the Raiders fan.  He said that growing up his father was actually a Chargers fan, but he grew up being a fan of the Silver and Black.  We all know the help that the Raiders now need at their secondary, and adding a young safety is definitely in the mix after releasing Michael Griffin.

Jefferson brings an attitude with him.  Nothing negative, but he brings an attitude that may be helpful to the Raiders, a winning attitude.  Coming from Oklahoma, he was held accountable for holding down his side of the field.  He also was part of that famous ESPN glimpse into the Oklahoma secondary that were the “Sharks”.

Unfortunately, so far Jefferson’s career has not been what he wanted.  He was highly recruited out of high school and decided he was going to go to USC.  When all of the sudden head coach at the time, Pete Carroll, left for the NFL and turned away from USC during the middle of an investigation.  Jefferson decided he was going to change where he was going as he said that he really “wanted to go somewhere that had continuity. ” He said that he didnt want to go into a situation where everything was getting ready to change around and Oklahoma and Bob Stoops then were the option for him.

Tony has been staying in shape working out and getting ready for the NFL draft.  Although Tony isn’t a day one prospect, the kid can play and has been playing at a high level his entire college career.  He has started since a freshman, but where he lacks is his size.  He is listed at 5’11” and 212 pounds, which is good but not great size for a strong safety.  If he works on his footwork, he could make a decent free safety with a lot of upside.  Unfortunately, he has been getting a lot of negative work ethic issues his way.  Although he denied this and said that he is still working out with NFL and college players right now getting ready for the draft, his work ethic issues could have been a result of his disappointments he experienced starting with going to college.  Oklahoma was tagged as a potential NCAA championship team, and every year seemed to be less than impressive at times.  Tony said that his experiences in college “were great” though, but he is “looking forward” to starting a new chapter.

Jefferson said that he loves the way that Eric Berry plays the game with his physicality and versatility, but also has loved watching Ed Reed growing up.  When asked how he would like playing next to Eric Berry and for a team that he grew up hating, “I would love the opportunity to learn from Eric, and I think that we could really benefit each other.  And playing for the Chiefs would be different (laughing) but would be an awesome experience and opportunity.”

Tony has very good speed with good size, and if he can stay motivated will be a solid contributor to any NFL team.  Good coaching will be his biggest asset in his early years in the NFL, even if that means going to a team that is not his childhood favorite.  Depending on the run on safety this year in the draft will really dictate where he goes, but he could be a really solid sleeper pick this year if he makes it past the 3rd round.