Alshon doesn’t want to be like Mike

2012-02-21T23:34:00Z Alshon doesn’t want to be like MikeBy BRIAN LINDER, T&D Sports Editor The Times and Democrat
February 21, 2012 11:34 pm  • 

Walt Wilson leaned back in the bleachers in the Calhoun County gym.

"Let me tell you something," the Calhoun County head football coach said late last week. "When (Alshon Jeffery) shows up at the NFL Combine, peoples' jaws are going to do this here ... "

With that, Wilson motioned to his own jaw and quickly dropped it. Wilson, who has maintained a relationship with Jeffery, the talented South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver, since he left Calhoun County High, continued predicting what Jeffery will do at the combine, which begins today in Indianapolis.

"He's going to run fast," he said. "He's going to be chiseled. He is already 220, and he will be lighter when he gets there."

Wilson was sure of what he was saying. Considering his relationship with Jeffery, there is reason to believe he has inside knowledge. Then again, considering his relationship with Jeffery, there is also reason that Wilson was just speaking with blind faith.

Jeffery always made plays for Wilson. Always came up big. Was always good.

Questions to be answered

If Jeffery shows up like Wilson suggested - looks good, runs fast - he is almost assuredly a lock to go in the first round of the NFL Draft in April.

At least one player that is training with Jeffery in Tampa, Fla., Bethune-Cookman outside linebacker/defensive end Ryan Davis, backs up Wilson's statement. In an article by Aaron Wilson on, Davis said Jeffery is down to 217 or 220 and that he "bet he runs a 4.5."

But the scouts want to see it. At least one NFL Draft analyst, the NFL Network's Mike Mayock, has serious reservations about what Jeffery can do.

"Alshon Jeffery does not separate," Mayock said in a recent conference call. "What those guys run is important. He needs to run somewhere in those mid-4.5s."

According to the few scouting reports available on line - and keep in mind those are not official scouting reports logged by NFL teams - Jeffery needs to prove he can also run routes well.

But the biggest question is his physical condition and his 40 time.

Fitzgerald or Williams?

One thing that cannot be questioned when it comes to Jeffery is his production. He was a monster wide receiver at South Carolina but that does not necessarily transfer to the NFL.

"Big and fast is good," Mayock noted in his conference call. "Big and slow is bad. Bottom line is, he has got to run well."

Without a good 40 time, Jeffery, who said he wanted to be like Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald when he entered the draft, will be viewed more as a Mike Williams type by NFL scouts.

And that is not good. Williams was a first round pick by the Lions. He was big. He was slow. He is in Seattle now, but he is also a non-factor. A bust.

Jeffery can thank Williams for scaring scouts off of him now, watch his stock drop and lose millions of dollars.

Or, he can turn on the jets, run like the wind and do what he has always done - produce.

It is all on Alshon, and it will all unfold this week.

Contact the writer: or by phone at 803-533-5553. Follow him on Twitter @SportsByBLinder and @TandDSports.



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