Van Jefferson
refer to caption
Jefferson with the Rams in 2020
No. 15 – Atlanta Falcons
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1996-07-26) July 26, 1996 (age 27)
Brentwood, Tennessee, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:Ravenwood (Brentwood, Tennessee)
College:
NFL draft:2020 / Round: 2 / Pick: 57
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Receptions:113
Receiving yards:1,600
Receiving touchdowns:10
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Vanchi LaShawn Jefferson Jr. (born July 26, 1996) is an American football wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ole Miss and Florida and was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Early years

Born and raised in Brentwood, Tennessee, Jefferson attended Ravenwood High School.[1][2] As a junior, he caught 87 passes for 1,251 yards and 14 touchdowns. As a senior, he was named first team All-State after recording 67 receptions for 1,223 yards and 13 touchdowns. He initially committed to play college football at Georgia.[3] However, he de-committed in January of his senior year and flipped his commitment to Ole Miss, choosing the Rebels over offers from Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. [4]

College career

In 2015, Jefferson redshirted his true freshman season at Ole Miss. In 2016, as a redshirt freshman, he had 49 catches for 543 yards and three touchdowns.[5][6] Jefferson finished his redshirt sophomore season with 42 receptions for 456 yards and one touchdown.[7] Following the 2017 season, Jefferson announced his intent to transfer from Ole Miss after the program was sanctioned by the NCAA, ultimately choosing to continue his collegiate career at Florida.[8]

Jefferson was granted immediate eligibility to play for Florida after transferring after receiving waivers from the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference (SEC).[9] In 2018, his first season with the Gators, he led the team with 35 receptions, 503 receiving yards, and six touchdown receptions.[10] As a senior, he caught 49 passes for 657 yards and six touchdowns.[11] He caught six passes for 129 yards against Virginia in the 2019 Orange Bowl, his final career game.[12] Jefferson finished his collegiate career with 175 receptions for 2,159 yards and 16 touchdowns in 45 games played.[13]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span Wonderlic
6 ft 1+12 in
(1.87 m)
200 lb
(91 kg)
32+34 in
(0.83 m)
9+18 in
(0.23 m)
12
All values from NFL Combine[14]

Los Angeles Rams

Jefferson was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round with the 57th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.[15] The Rams previously traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans to acquire the pick.[16] In Week 11 of the 2020 season , against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he recorded his first professional receiving touchdown.[17] In the Divisional Round of the playoffs against the Green Bay Packers, Jefferson recorded 6 catches for 46 yards and his first playoff touchdown during the 32–18 loss.[18]

In 2021, Jefferson saw an increase in production playing under new Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and in light of a season-ending injury to teammate Robert Woods.[19] Through Week 14, Jefferson had 47 receptions, 708 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.[20] Jefferson became a Super Bowl champion when the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23–20 in Super Bowl LVI. In the Super Bowl, Jefferson recorded four catches for 23 yards.[21]

On September 24, 2022, Jefferson was placed on injured reserve.[22] He was designated to return from injured reserve on October 24, 2022, and activated for Week 8.[23] On December 8, 2022, Jefferson caught the game winning touchdown pass from newly signed quarterback Baker Mayfield to beat the Las Vegas Raiders.[24]

Atlanta Falcons

On October 10, 2023, Jefferson was traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a swap of 2025 late round picks.[25]

Personal life

Jefferson is the son of Carolina Panthers wide receiver coach and former wide receiver Shawn Jefferson.[26]

Jefferson has a daughter and two sons. His second son was born on February 13, 2022, after Jefferson's wife, Samaria Jefferson, went into labor during Super Bowl LVI.[27]

References

  1. ^ "Van Jefferson Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Draft, College". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  2. ^ "Ravenwood's Van Jefferson commits to Ole Miss". The Tennessean. January 25, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  3. ^ "Ravenwood's Van Jefferson decommits from Georgia". USATodayHSS.com. January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  4. ^ Blevins, Riley (January 25, 2015). "Nation's No. 11 WR Jefferson commits to Ole Miss". Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Sallee, Barrett (August 13, 2018). "SEC rules former Ole Miss WR Van Jefferson eligible to play for Florida in 2018". CBSSports.com. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  6. ^ Potter, Davis (December 5, 2016). "Ole Miss receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow declares for NFL Draft". The Oxford Eagle. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  7. ^ Young, Ryan (December 19, 2017). "Insight into WR Van Jefferson's decision to transfer from Ole Miss to Florida". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 23, 2020.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Aschoff, Edward (December 19, 2017). "Ole Miss WR Van Jefferson transferring to Florida". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  9. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (August 13, 2018). "Gators WR Van Jefferson eligible to play in 2018". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  10. ^ Redman, Bob (August 26, 2019). "Jefferson's move to gunner paid off quickly". 247Sports.com. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  11. ^ Marsdale, Sam (January 22, 2020). "Van Jefferson impresses at Day 1 of Senior Bowl practice". 247Sports.com. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  12. ^ Goodall, Zach (January 30, 2020). "Van Jefferson Considered "Second-Third Round" NFL Draft Prospect". SI.com. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Guregian, Karen (April 17, 2020). "10 potential Patriots draft picks: Florida WR Van Jefferson". Boston Herald. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "Van Jefferson Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  15. ^ Marsdale, Sam (April 24, 2020). "Van Jefferson pick No. 57 to Rams in 2020 NFL Draft". 247 Sports. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  16. ^ "2020 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  17. ^ "Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - November 23rd, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  18. ^ "Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers - January 16th, 2021". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  19. ^ "Fantasy football stock for Josh Jacobs and van Jefferson is about to skyrocket, and more Week 13 hot takes".
  20. ^ "Van Jefferson Game by Game Stats and Performance | ESPN".
  21. ^ "Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals - February 13th, 2022". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  22. ^ Grindley, Wyatt (September 24, 2022). "Rams Announce Four Roster Moves". NFLTradeRumors.co. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  23. ^ @RamsNFL (October 24, 2022). "LA Rams Transactions: • Designated for Return/Returned to Practice DB Troy Hill, LB Travin Howard, WR Van Jefferson" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  24. ^ Jackson, Stu (December 8, 2022). "Game Recap: Baker Mayfield's game-winning, 23-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with nine seconds left lifts Rams to thrilling 17-16 Thursday Night Football win over Raiders". therams.com. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  25. ^ Bair, Scott (October 10, 2023). "Falcons acquire WR Van Jefferson in trade with Rams". AtlantaFalcons.com. Retrieved October 10, 2023.
  26. ^ Sammon, Will (August 10, 2018). "'He had to overcome being my son': How Van Jefferson forged his own path outside the shadow of his NFL father". The Athletic. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  27. ^ After Super Bowl Win, Rams' Van Jefferson Rushed to Hospital as Wife Gave Birth to 2nd Child