Destructive. That's the adjective most defensive coordinators look for in a hybrid player. Can a linebacker/defensive end detonate an opposing offense via his ability to get to the quarterback? And can a linebacker/defensive back hybrid destroy a spread's ability to operate by snuffing out the run game and covering key playmakers out of the slot?
The latter role is one filled perfectly by Jefferson, arguably the best underclassman defensive player in the league. The versatile athlete has been called everything from a linebacker to a nickel back to a safety, and he switches between those hats seamlessly.
He was a devastating tackler in the running game, making 65 tackles, including seven for loss. He had two sacks and two interceptions against the pass, breaking up seven other passes. But perhaps most importantly, his versatility allowed the Sooners to utilize him in a variety of ways against a variety of Big 12 offenses.
Blessed with speed, athleticism and aggressiveness, Jefferson is the ultimate three-down player, somebody who can hop in the box and deliver a blow or lock down one of the Big 12's top slot receivers in pass coverage. And the better part: he showed all of that skill as a true freshman, and there's plenty of room to grow.
The Sooners bring back a number of talented players on defense, including several top-notch linebackers an an athletic and deep secondary. That should allow Jefferson to do just what he does best: play the answers guy and fill in wherever he's needed.
2010 Stats: 65 tackles, seven for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, seven passes broken up, one fumble recovery