Texas Tech – Riko Jeffers, Linebacker, Senior
In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Jordyn Brooks in the first round from Texas Tech. Now as we turn to the 2021 NFL Draft, Riko Jeffers is following a similar path.
Registering 76 tackles last season, behind just Brooks, Jeffers was highlighted as a “centerpiece” in Keith Patterson’s defense at Texas Tech according to his bio on the team website. Now with Brooks in the NFL, Jeffers should easily step into an even larger role in the 2020 season.
In addition to second in tackles, Jeffers was also second on the team behind Brooks for tackles for loss, logging 9.5. The two also tied for second on the team for sacks with three apiece. Jeffers also set a team-high for forced fumbles on the year with two.
If Jeffers can continue to create pressure while being the centerpiece of the Red Raiders’ defense, then he could very well garner the same value in the 2021 NFL Draft that Brooks did in the 2020 NFL Draft. Being so close on the stat sheet, it’s obvious that Patterson wants to use Jeffers in a similar way to how he utilized Brooks this past season.
Being an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, Jeffers has a lot going for him entering the upcoming season. If he can harness that momentum then teams should start adding him to their draft boards and moving him up and the year progresses.