More juniors for the Texas Longhorns may be on the way out, eyeing the NFL. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has reported that both Malik Jefferson DeShon Elliot will forgo their senior seasons and enter the NFL draft.
Sources tell me Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson and safety Deshon Elliott will enter 2018 draft. Neither player is expected to play in the bowl game.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 28, 2017
In addition, Miller is reporting that both players will skip the Longhorn’s bowl game as well. This news leaks a day after Texas’ All American Connor Williams declared for the NFL draft.
However, Malik Jefferson sent out a tweet that indicates it might not be a done deal.
I have not made a decision. My family and I are discussing my choices moving forward, thank you.
— Malik Jefferson (@Official_MalikJ) November 28, 2017
While Jefferson says he has not made his decision just yet, that is not exactly the same confirming that he wishes to remain at Texas. Miller also double downed on his report afterward.
I’m incredibly confident in my sourcing on this one. As a fan I can understand that you hope I’m wrong, but I’m not. https://t.co/vRJKwwrd9e
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 29, 2017
Jefferson has been graded as a first round pick in nearly every mock draft up to this point. Jefferson had 110 tackles on the season, including four sacks. Jefferson had been penciled into declaring early for a couple years now. It would almost be more surprising if Jefferson decided to stay. However, DeShon Elliot’s decision is a bit more surprising.
Elliot had a breakout junior season, garnering national attention along the way. The Thorpe award finalist finished the season with 63 tackles, six interceptions, 9 pass break ups, and three forced fumbles. Most mock drafts have DeShon Elliot graded as a second round talent, but don’t be surprised to see Elliot sneak into the first round.
These two players were the Longhorn’s best on the defensive side of the ball. Combine them with the loss of Connor Williams and Texas’ chances of winning their bowl game begin to look even more bleak.
Jefferson, Elliot, and Williams all seem to be skipping the bowl game in preparation for the NFL draft. But what if Sunday the Texas bowl announces the matchup of Texas vs Texas A&M, would the star juniors still willingly skip such a big game against their cross state rival? The chances of a Lone Star State showdown matchup in the Texas Bowl are obviously slim; nevertheless, this is interesting food for thought.