FLAGSTAFF, AZ - AUGUST 04: Wide receiver Stephen Williams #18 of the Arizona Cardinals catches a touchdown pass past cornerback A.J. Jefferson #20 during the team training camp at Northern Arizona University on August 4, 2011 in Flagstaff, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Before the NFL Draft, the combine is a big event. PLayers can make or break their draft status with their performance there. However, for one Arizona Cardinals player, a superb performance in the combine did not translate into a higher draft status -- he was left undrafted.
This would happen to be cornerback A.J. Jefferson. He now currently sits atop the depth chart at his position, lining up opposite Larry Fitzgerald and covering him in practice. However, he would like us to remember that he had a top 10 performance at the NFL combine last year.
Jefferson's combine performance was ranked as the fourth best from year ago. At 6-0, he logged a 44 inches vertical leap, a 4.00 second 20-yard shuttle and an 11.04 second 60-yard shuttle. Each one of these was the best in the combine in 2010.
Why he went undrafted is interested. He was projected to go in the sixth round for a few reasons. He had all the physical tools, but had weaknesses listed as not being a strong tackler, not playing the ball well (no career interceptions) and not great anticipation or awareness.
In training camp so far, he has shown he is good.
He doesn't lack confidence, as he tweets out lots of things (he protects his tweets, so you'll have to follow him to see them), such as saying that his "bandwagon is full, but you can try and run behind it."
In the first couple of practices I watched, he was one of the young players I thought we should keep an eye on. If he keeps it up, combined with having Greg Toler, Richard Marshall and Patrick Peterson, the cornerback position just may be in better shape than when DRC was here.