Jackson Jeffcoat (No. 44) to miss the rest of the season. Photo courtesy of Matthew Emmons, US Presswire.
Texas junior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat suffered a right pectoral muscle rupture in the Longhorns loss to Oklahoma on Saturday and will miss the rest of the season.
Jeffcoat, who has been a mainstay in first round mock drafts, is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 3 ranked draft-eligible defensive end and the No. 20 prospect overall.
The injury will require surgery, his second pectoral procedure in the last 12 months after missing spring practice rehabbing from surgery on a left pectoral tear.
Jeffcoat, son of 15-year NFL veteran Jim Jeffcoat, is the current leader in tackles for loss (10.5) for the Longhorns and is second in sacks (4.0) behind senior defensive end Alex Okafor who has six sacks in 2012. A native of Plano, Texas, Jeffcoat was highly recruited out of high school and started 20 games over his first three seasons in Austin, recording 30.0 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks in his career.
Jeffcoat's bloodlines, fluidity at 6-4, 245 pounds and the success he's had against quality competition has made him one of the more intriguing evaluations for NFL scouts. Scouts working for teams typically using the traditional 3-4 alignment like his change of direction and closing speed as a potential stand-up outside linebacker, a role Jeffcoat (and Okafor) have excelled in as integral components of Texas' defensive coordinator's Manny Diaz's scheme. Traditional 4-3 teams feel that Jeffcoat needs to continue to get stronger to remain at defensive end but that he has the frame, including the long limbs, to handle additional muscle mass without significantly impacting his trademark explosiveness.
Athletes respond differently to pectoral injuries with the recovery time estimated anywhere between four and ten months. Thought to be a candidate to leave school early for the 2013 NFL Draft, Jeffcoat's injury and rehab process will mostly likely play a part in that decision. He has first round talent, but obviously this injury puts his draft stock in limbo.