March 26, 2014

Texas DE Jackson Jeffcoat hopes to continue following in his father’s cleat marks

He is projected to be a mid-round pick in the NFL Draft.

Jackson Jeffcoat is living the dream, following the dream his father already lived.

As the son of former Cowboys defensive end Jim Jeffcoat, the University of Texas defensive end stands in his dad’s cleat marks. Jackson Jeffcoat soon will return to the place where his dream was born.

“I remember it was fun for me being around [NFL locker rooms] and hoping to one day be in the same situation as him,” Jackson Jeffcoat said. “… It is crazy. I remember when I was little, like 5 years old, my dad would pick me up and take me on the field and give me a kiss, and he’d take me into the locker room. It feels like it was just yesterday. It’s crazy that I’m going to be in the NFL, something I’ve wanted to do since I was 5 years old.”

Jeffcoat, the highest-rated prospect among the 11 who participated in UT’s pro day, stood on his combine workout numbers Wednesday. The Plano West product ran a 4.63-second 40-yard dash in Indianapolis last month, with 18 reps in the 225-pound bench press and a 36-inch vertical jump.

Jeffcoat weighed 253 pounds Wednesday for scouts from 32 teams, and he participated in position drills.

“I went out there and showed that I was in shape, showed that I’ve been working,” Jeffcoat said. “… The goal was just to show that I could move in space, able to change direction and show that I can play defensive end and outside linebacker.”

Jeffcoat has a visit scheduled to Pittsburgh and private workouts set for the Falcons, Jaguars and Colts. He hopes to participate in Dallas Day at Valley Ranch next month, though NFL rules might prohibit it since his family now lives in Colorado.

CBS Sportsline draft analyst Dane Brugler expects Jeffcoat to be a mid-round pick.

“Jeffcoat has strong hands to work off blocks, but is too easily manhandled in the run game as teams run at him routinely and he struggles to do much to stop it,” Brugler said in his scouting report. “He lacks special traits, but his motivated attitude and NFL bloodlines help him considerably. Jeffcoat doesn’t have elite skills, but is a try-hard player with enough ability to warrant a mid-round pick.”

Jim Jeffcoat was a first-rounder, the 23rd overall pick of the Cowboys in 1983. He had 102.5 sacks in 15 NFL seasons, including 12 with the Cowboys.

“We’re different people,” Jim Jeffcoat said. “Obviously, I wasn’t as explosive as he is. It’s actually funny: I only weighed 2 pounds more than he did coming out, but he’s a lot more explosive, a lot more talented than I could ever have hoped to be. I tell him, ‘You’re just a more-improved version of what I was.’ ”

Jackson Jeffcoat, 22, arrived at UT with high expectations. He has high expectations for himself in the NFL. But he’s lived with those his entire life by playing the same position his father did.

“It’s good when people are mentioning him,” Jackson Jeffcoat said. “This dude has 102 1/2 sacks in the NFL. He’s in the 100-sack club. I mean, that’s high expectations for me if I’ve got to get to him.”

Despite playing only six games in 2012 because of a pectoral injury that required surgery, Jeffcoat ended his four-year career tied for second in UT history with 60 career tackles for loss. His 27.5 career sacks rank seventh.

He earned All-America honors and the Ted Hendricks Award last year.

“That was a big goal for me, to get up in the history books, because my dad would always tell me, ‘Hey, my name’s up on the stadium at Arizona State. Where’s your name?’ ” Jeffcoat said. “I was definitely competing with him.”

Davis healthy

Receiver Mike Davis, who played at Dallas Skyline, ran in the mid 4.5s. He had a 9-9 broad jump and a 32 1/2 vertical. The 189-pounder will visit the Lions on Monday and the Cowboys on April 17, he said. Davis said the stress fracture in his foot, revealed in tests at the combine, is fully healed.

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