Wed, 12 May 2021

Lions draft running back Jermar Jefferson

Detroit Lions
02 May 2021, 20:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

The Detroit Lions finished off the 2021 NFL Draft with the selection of Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson with the 257th pick (seventh round).

A three-year starter at Oregon State, Jefferson was the featured runner in their spread attack. He was pressed into starting duty as a freshman due to injury, and carried 239 times for 1,380 yards (5.8 average) with 12 touchdowns. He also caught 25 passes that season.

He's coming off a terrific season in 2020 as a junior, averaging 143.0 rushing yards per game (858 yards in only six games), which was the fourth best in college football.

Jefferson (5-10, 206) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds at his pro day, and based off his production in college, he said Saturday he was a little surprised he wasn't drafted sooner. He said Detroit is getting a running back who's going to come in and run angry.

"I've been in this position before," he said. "All my life I've been underrated. Just know the Detroit Lions are getting everything out of me."

Jefferson accrued 2,923 yards with a 5.7-yard average per carry and 27 touchdowns over his three seasons with 15 100-yard rushing contests. He also recorded 43 receptions with only one drop over that span.

"I feel like I'm more of a balanced back," Jefferson said. "I can catch the ball out of the backfield. I feel like I can do it all."

Jefferson knows that special teams might be a big part of his role, and he looks forward to making a contribution there early on.

He joins a Detroit backfield that features a top three of D'Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams and Kerryon Johnson, though Jefferson will have a shot to make the roster with a good camp and finding a role of special teams.

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