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Big 12 Aims High For 2014 Draft

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Jackson Jeffcoat is a known quantity, but needs to prove he can stay healthy. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
Jackson Jeffcoat is a known quantity, but needs to prove he can stay healthy. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

A successful season for Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat must feature one statistic: 13 games. The senior missed the last seven games in 2012 after tearing a pectoral muscle against Oklahoma, but nevertheless finished second on the team in sacks, tackles for a loss and forced fumbles. 

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Jeffcoat is a destructive player, but one who also missed a start in 2011 due to injury. During his last 13 games, though, he's had 12 sacks and at least one in every game. He has a professional pedigree, too. His dad, Jim, played 15 seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills.

Jeffcoat has the speed, size and fluid movement to play defensive end and harass players on the edge or roam around capably as an outside linebacker in the NFL. Eyes will be on his upper body to see if he can rip and swim during pass rushes. Jeffcoat was on pace for a monster season in 2012, and that would have followed his 71 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss and eight sacks in 2011. A solid comeback seems likely and the Big 12 isn't blessed with great offensive tackles. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz's aggressive and loaded defense could really elevate Jeffcoat's 2014 status.