Dec 01, 2012; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Tony Jefferson (1) reacts during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Oklahoma won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals are in need of help at the safety position with the impending free agency of Chris Crocker and Nate Clements, and the draft could provide an answer, but there may be one prospect they’ll need to consider carefully .
Anonymous NFL scouts have been claiming Oklahoma coaches have been trashing their former safety, Tony Jefferson, who will be in this year’s NFL Draft, and is expected to fairly high:
"Another safety prospect that is trending in the opposite direction is Oklahoma safety Tony Jefferson. Scouts are saying that Jefferson has been getting trashed by some of his former coaches for horrible practice habits and a lack of work ethic in the weight room. Jefferson has a lot of physical talent, but it is really going to hurt his draft stock to have former coaches telling NFL teams to pass on him. A couple sources said they wouldn’t be surprised if Jefferson has a free fall in the draft from a second-day pick to the third day. It will be really important for Jefferson to test well and interview well at the Combine."
Jefferson later appeared on a Tulsa radio show, and claimed his coaches called him to say the reports was false. Some would argue that the Bengals have moved past the “bad-boy” days of having players arrested on a regular basis (Andre Smith hurts that case), and the character and leader ship on this team now is strong enough to handle one head-case like Jefferson apparently is.
Still, would you want the Bengals to take a chance on a player like Jefferson?