KJ Jefferson’s Draft Profile | UCF, QB Scouting Report

A career passing leader at Arkansas, can KJ Jefferson fill in the gaps in his 2025 NFL Draft scouting report with the UCF Knights in 2024?

In a wide-open 2025 NFL Draft quarterback class, does UCF’s KJ Jefferson have the scouting report to fuel an early-round ascent? Jefferson made a name for himself at Arkansas, but the hope is that he can make a heavily anticipated leap with the Knights.

KJ Jefferson’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 247 pounds
  • Position: Quarterback
  • School: UCF
  • Current Year: Sixth-Year Senior

For the better part of a half-decade, Jefferson has been one of the more recognizable names on the college football circuit.

The Sardis, Mississippi native — a four-star recruit and standout at North Panola High School — signed with the Arkansas Razorbacks out of high school and embarked on an impressive five-year career with the team.

After two years of spot-starting action, Jefferson took over as the full-time starter in 2021. Immediately, the Razorbacks knew they had something.

Jefferson threw for 2,676 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just four interceptions and was the Outback Bowl MVP at the end of the year.

He led Arkansas to a strong 9-4 performance that season, and in 2022, he followed it up with career-highs in completion percentage (68%), passing touchdowns (24), and rushing touchdowns (9). And once again, he was the bowl game MVP — in a triple-overtime showdown versus Kansas.

By the end of his Arkansas career, Jefferson broke the school record for career pass attempts, passing yards, and passing touchdowns. He was a three-year captain in his three seasons as a starter, but after a 4-8 2023 campaign, he transferred to UCF.

Jefferson is an accomplished collegiate QB, but can he become more than that? That’s the last looming question as he enters his final season.

Jefferson’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Domineering size threat at QB with rare play strength, sturdiness, and steely toughness.
  • Has good linear burst and speed for his size, and has some utility as a designed runner.
  • Savvy mover in open space, who can use euro steps to work defenders off balance.
  • Flashes good velocity in the intermediate range on sit routes and crossing patterns.
  • Possesses the arm strength to rifle the ball into tight windows when properly loaded.
  • Has the drive velocity to hit tight back-shoulder opportunities over 25 yards out.
  • Shows glimpses of solid response to stimulus when receivers sit in open zones.
  • Flashes the ability to hold middle-field defenders with his eyes and open up the seam.
  • Can anticipate quick slants and lead WRs low to mitigate threats of contact.
  • Has shown to sense looping pressure and step up into congestion with poise.
  • Shows flashes of impressive successive pocket navigation, using micro-movements.
  • Able to slide away from pressure and traverse climbing lanes while keeping his eyes up.
  • Can throw with touch and controlled loft on fade routes and vertical concepts.
  • Can use shoulder tilt to arc boundary passes and wheels over underneath defenders.
  • Has a level of discretion as a game manager and distributor, and can protect the ball.

Weaknesses

  • Arm strength, while good at its best moments, is visibly non-elite.
  • Lacks the high-end arm elasticity to correct mechanics or routinely work off-platform.
  • Isn’t overly quick, flexible, or malleable as an athlete, and lacks great vision as a runner.
  • Sometimes fails to properly load his base and maximize pacing on short rhythm passes.
  • Slow, segmented footwork can impact mechanical congruence and shoulder alignment.
  • Undisciplined dropback footwork can render him a tick behind on early reads.
  • Lacks the corrective quickness or mechanical feel to consistently adapt in the pocket.
  • Is sometimes too far upright off his dropback, failing to roll his base through throws.
  • Tendency to divert upright on release can tug his front shoulder down and stall passes.
  • High overhead release can sometimes lead to short and intermediate overthrows.
  • Not a natural progression or rhythm QB, who is slow-moving from read to read.
  • In spite of poise, internal clock can be a concern at times, inviting unnecessary sacks.
  • Pressure can induce forced, rushed, and imprecise throws with lopsided mechanics.
  • Can improve pre-snap autonomy and blitz recognition to avoid being overwhelmed.
  • Will be a 24-year-old rookie at the start of the 2025 season.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Heading into the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, Jefferson grades out as an undrafted free agent QB prospect. There’s a chance he could earn consideration in Round 6 or 7 as a developmental backup with intriguing tools, but the depth of the class will work against him.

Physical talent is the obvious calling card for Jefferson. At 6’3″, 247 pounds, he’s built like an edge rusher, and he has the toughness and physicality of one. Beyond that, he’s a solid linear athlete with running utility, and he flashes live arm strength when mechanical flaws don’t get in the way.

Operationally, there are also glimpses of competence. While Jefferson isn’t a natural progression quarterback, he’s flashed the ability to anticipate short-range windows and displace defenders with his eyes. Inside the pocket, he’s shown to navigate and step up.

However, for a sixth-year senior without elite creation capacity or composite arm talent, Jefferson is still relatively rough across the board. Many elements of his game — dropback footwork, corrective mechanics, internal clock, progression stimulus — are slower than preferred, and mechanical aberrations can result in inaccuracy and imprecision.

Nevertheless, Jefferson has a level of discretion and a decent game-management floor to go with his running ability, toughness, and raw arm strength — and he was a three-time team captain at Arkansas.

Jefferson is a worthwhile investment as a camp QB, who could stick around as a developmental backup.

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