Detroit Lions 7th-rounder Jermar Jefferson: I thought I'd be drafted in 3rd or 4th round

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Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press
·2 min read
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The Detroit Lions selected Jermar Jefferson, a running back from Oregon State, with the 30th pick in the seventh round, No. 257 overall, in the 2021 NFL draft on Saturday.

He was a first-team All Pac-12 performer last season, gaining 154.2 yards from scrimmage per game, fifth in the FBS.

Jefferson is a 5-foot-10, 206-pound junior from Los Angeles. His NFL.com profile projected him as a fifth-round pick, with a pro comparison to Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard.

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Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State
Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State

Jefferson was grateful to the Lions for drafting him, but was obviously disappointed at his draft position because he thought he would go much higher.

"I thought I was going to get drafted in the third, fourth round," he told Detroit reporters Saturday evening. "But that didn’t happen. I’m just cherishing the moment and I’m happy and happy that I got drafted."

As the Pac-12's freshman of the year who ran for 1,380 yards and earned all conference honors last year, Jefferson couldn't figure out why teams passed on him after he showed so much production.

"Exactly," he said. "And that’s what I don’t understand. But the Detroit Lions gave me an opportunity. I feel there was nothing else I could do up there. I showed my long speed up there this past year. I showed vision getting the ball out of the backfield.

"So I don’t know what teams are missing or that I didn’t have. But I felt like I was the best running back in the Pac-12."

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When he steps on the field in Detroit, Jefferson promises attitude when he carries the ball.

"Oh, really angry," he said. "I’ve been in this position before, you know? All my life I’ve been underrated. … But hey, I’m going to show the world, I’m going to shock the world. Detroit Lions are getting everything out of me. Everything."

He'll compete with Kerryon Johnson and Jamaal Williams behind starter De’Andre Swift.

Jefferson is the Lions' third pick on Day 3 and their seventh and final selection.

In the fourth round Saturday, the Lions made back-to-back picks, taking USC receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown at No. 112 and then trading into the round to select Purdue linebacker Derrick Barnes at No. 113.

Contact Carlos Monarrez at cmonarrez@freepress.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions RB Jermar Jefferson thought he was 3rd round draft pick