Hometown: Sardis, MS
High School: North Panola
A forceful quarterback, Jefferson plays the position like few others, and for good reason, as there are few of his stature.
Colossal for the position, frame is reminiscent of an outside linebacker. This equates to superior play strength as a quarterback. Takes a group to bring him down in the pocket and presents an intimation factor as a runner. Unlocks the play-calling sheet because of this, with a variety of quarterback-designed runs displayed. Obvious ability to tuck and run doesn't prevent him from keeping the passing play alive. Continuously surveys the progression, working across the field in a timely manner. Will exploit holes in zone coverage, recognizing deficiencies pre-snap and carrying out the play post-snap. Provides touch on passes close to the line of scrimmage, knowing how to layer the ball. Arm angles to work around defenders. Unphased by pocket pressure, showing a capability to drive the ball regardless of pass rush proximity. He is accurate on his attempts outside the numbers. Precise ball placement and timing on back-shoulder throws. Stretches the field with notable deep ball reliability. Lacks vision as a runner, too many attempts into the back of his linemen. Footwork and overall passing mechanics come across as lackadaisical. Limited in his ball velocity not due to strength, but by a lack of lower-body activity. Seldom generates power through his hips into an upper body rotation, opting to throw with pure arm. Accuracy and ball location takes a dip when on the move. Questionable decision making, come away wondering who was the intended target at times. Will force the ball on RPO concepts, seemingly missing the point man on the read. Jefferson may be rough around the edges as a passer, with an obvious need to improve mechanically. What is sure, though, is his ability to gain the requisite yards and points to win games. If he can build off an impressive 2021, look for Jefferson to become a riser during the draft cycle.
“Jefferson says he believes his tough running style will be appealing to teams in the NFL whenever he chooses to take that next step, but that he wants to continue getting stronger throwing the ball and avoid going for the big play when it may not be there or presents a lot of risk.”
"I feel like I improved on decision-making and being disciplined with the ball, just taking care of the ball and trying to put my teammates in the best position to win. Just leaning forward and moving forward to be more consistent and be even more vocal as a leader." -- Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson on areas of his game that he worked on improving during the offseason
KJ Jefferson is coming into this season strong after earning the Outback Bowl MVP in 2020 for the Razorbacks. Last season, he was the starter for Arkansas and had a sixty-three percent completion percentage and over twenty touchdowns. He also played in both 2019 and 2020 but made a true impact in 2021. He was a four-star prospect out of North Panola High School, and he was ranked as the fourth-best dual-threat quarterback in his class. Jefferson is the son of Katorie and James Moore and has a sibling, Jakaelyn. In 2022, Jefferson will look to be a leader for the Razorbacks.