Pittsburgh Steelers Film Room: Linebacker Malik Jefferson

WACO, TX - OCTOBER 28: Malik Jefferson
WACO, TX - OCTOBER 28: Malik Jefferson /
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How does Malik Jefferson fit the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Like Leighton Vander Esch, Jefferson plays inside linebacker. Again, with Shazier’s football future up in the air, the team will need to address this position early in the draft.

Jefferson plays like Shazier in many ways. He has the speed and athleticism to play in coverage and defend the run.

He is, in essence, the total package at inside linebacker. His ability to play all around the defensive front as well as drop into coverage makes him a serious weapon as a 3-4 inside backer.

Jefferson’s combo of size, power, and athletic ability would help fill the void left by Shazier’s injury. He is not Ryan Shazier by any means but he has a similar set of skills.

His impact potential is only beginning to be tapped. He is a junior and coming out early so he has plenty of raw about him.

It will take him a little while to learn the nuances of any NFL defense but once he has honed in on NFL life, this kid can be a building block in a young and upcoming defense.

If Jefferson’s focus and effort increase, as they will have to for him to remain employed, he will make one NFL team very happy they invested a pick in him. The Pittsburgh Steelers would be wise to consider drafting him with their 28th overall pick, he will not last to them in the second round.