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Washington Redskins Player Profiles: Jackson Jeffcoat

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Second-year linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat has a shot at securing one of the backup outside linebacker spots.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Linebacker

Height: 6'3"  Weight: 253 lbs

College: Texas

Drafted: Undrafted (2014)

As an undrafted free agent, Jackson Jeffcoat managed to have an impact in his rookie season despite playing in just three games. With Brian Orakpo gone and a handful of unproven OLBs ahead of him, Jeffcoat has a real shot at making the 53-man roster off the bat.

#1. The son of an NFL sack specialist, Jeffcoat was born to get after the quarterback. He learned the tricks of the trade firsthand from his father, Jim, who played 15 years in the NFL and recorded 102.5 career sacks. Jackson had a spectacular college career, piling up 26 sacks and 171 tackles, and he earned the Ted Hendricks Award for the nation's top defensive end as well as consensus All-American honors in 2013. The last Texas player to win the Ted Hendricks Award was none other than former Redskin Brian Orakpo.

#2. He ran a blazing fast (for his size) 40-yard dash at the 2014 NFL Combine, clocking at just 4.63. Though he made the switch to outside linebacker as a pro, he was considered a defensive lineman for Combine purposes, and his 40 time was sixth-fastest among all defensive linemen and linebacker prospects. His 20-yard shuttle time of 4.18 seconds was fifth among DL and LB prospects, and he also cracked the top 10 in the broad jump and 3-cone drill.

#3. Nobody really knew what to make of him coming into the 2014 NFL DraftESPN.com (Insider required) declared him the 106th best player in the draft, NFLDraftScout.com projected him to go in the third or fourth round and NFL.com had him pegged as a fifth- or sixth-rounder.

Jeffcoat went undrafted. The knock on him was that he wasn't big or strong enough to thrive in the NFL as an outside linebacker, and he struggled with injuries throughout his college career, but it was generally expected that somebody would at least take a late-round flier on him.

The Seattle Seahawks signed him after the draft, but he was waived in August before signing on with the Redskins in September. Jeffcoat spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad, but he made an appearance in Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans, then earned the call-up for the final two games of the season. He totaled five tackles, a sack, an interception and a pass breakup in those two games.

#4. His interception of Tony Romo in the season finale was a thing of beauty, and not just for obvious reasons. Romo was under duress in the pocket, rolled to his right, avoided a would-be sack from Ryan Kerrigan and rolled back to his left. He appeared to have a wide-open Joseph Randle, but Jeffcoat made a phenomenal read, abandoned his blocker and peeled off to cover Randle. He got there just in time to make the play in a stunning display of athleticism and intelligence from the rookie linebacker.

#5. Here's a fun twist of fate:

Jeffcoat's best game as a rookie came in the aforementioned season finale against the Dallas Cowboys, when he recorded his first career interception and pass breakup, as well as a career-high three combined tackles. Sure, it's a small sample size, but stick with me for a moment.

His father, Jim, had perhaps the best game of his career on Nov. 10, 1985, when, as a Cowboy, he sacked Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann five times. The rivalry persists.