Alshon Jeffery isn’t fat, but is he slow?
|02.24.12 at 3:41 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — If you google the name “Alshon Jeffery,” the next word that comes up on auto-complete is “fat.”
That’s not good for Jeffery, a receiver out of South Carolina who hopes to go in the first round of this year’s draft and could potentially be a perfect fit for the Patriots at either No. 27 or 31.
Jeffery’s hands and separation skills at the college level have made him a big name, but rumors about his weight (like that he had ballooned to upwards of 240 pounds) have made many wonder if he’s the next Mike Williams. Big and slow isn’t exactly a recipe for success, but Jeffery looked good Friday when he weighed in an met with the media.
“I think it was either [6-foot-2 4/8] or 6-foot-3 and 216 [pounds],” he said.
The height is well under what he was listed at in college [6-foot-4], but the 216 pound weigh-in went a long way in addressing questions about his weight. Jeffery said he weighed “like 230″ pounds last year at South Carolina, and noted that was the heaviest weight at which he’s played.
“I think that was too heavy for me,” he said. “When I get to the NFL, I have to make a better transition. I think 215, somewhere around there is better for me.”
Now that he’s proven that he isn’t fat, Jeffery has to show he isn’t slow. A good 40-yard dash should cement his first-round status. A bad one could doom him. He said he’s practiced running the 40, but hasn’t looked at his time. Jeffery hopes he can run in the 4.5 or 4.4 range.
There’s no denying that Jeffery’s 40 will be one of the most anticipated of the pre-draft process, though he still isn’t sure whether he’ll run in Indianapolis Friday or whether he’ll wait for his Pro Day. One thing he does know is that he isn’t putting as much focus on his time as the rest of the football world.
“I don’t think there’s no pressure,” he said. “I’ve just got to go out there and relax and take my time. It’s going to be what it’s going to be regardless, so that’s what I think about it.”
Jeffery’s happy to have lost the weight, as he said the whole pre-draft process has taught him better eating habits. His favorite food is lasagna, but these days, he just drinks a lot of water. The whole time that people have been wondering whether he’d have a stock-killing weigh-in, he was exercising and eating right. Is he mad that people had the wrong idea of him?
“I don’t really pay attention to any of that,” Jeffery said. “Anybody can write anything on the internet, so that’s how I think about that.”
If the Patriots do land Jeffery, it wouldn’t be the first time they spent a high pick on a highly skilled player with weight issues. It may be an apples an oranges comparison, but a player fell in the 2004 draft because of concerns over his weight, and the Pats ended his slide. His name? Vince Wilfork.