Oklahoma football: Biggest shock of undrafted Sooners — defensive back Tony Jefferson

None was more shocking than that of undrafted safety Tony Jefferson — once considered the second coming of Roy Williams — who signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals after the draft ended Saturday.
by Jason Kersey Published: April 28, 2013

Jefferson's performance was similarly subpar in his career finale, Oklahoma's 41-13 Cotton Bowl loss to Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. A few days after the rout, he announced his decision to bolt for the NFL Draft and leave one more year of college eligibility on the table.

ESPN.com ranked Jefferson as the draft's fifth-best safety prospect at the time. He was invited to February's NFL Scouting Combine, but ran a disappointing 4.75 40-yard dash there.

Despite the slow 40 time and a widely disputed Internet report questioning his work ethic and attitude at OU, Jefferson was still thought of as a mid-round draft prospect. The first inkling that Jefferson might go unselected came a day before the draft, when Scouts, Inc., released a full, seven-round mock draft that didn't include the 2012 second-team All-American.

Twenty-one safeties were drafted throughout the three-day event, but Jefferson's name was never called. NFL.com contributor Gil Brandt, the former chief scout for the Dallas Cowboys, didn't include Jefferson on his list ranking the 10 best undrafted free agent defensive backs.

A short while after the draft ended, he announced on Twitter that he'd signed with the Cardinals and would “do it for the non believers in Arizona.”

Jefferson sent a string of tweets later Saturday, telling his fans not to feel sorry for him.

“Blessed beyond measure! I love football. Regardless the circumstances Ima ball player everyone who passed me up, will feel me Point blank son,” Jefferson tweeted.

“And please don't feel bad for me! Have yu not read Matthew 19:30? But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

“God drafted me January 27th 1992. Who else do I really needed be drafted by? To god be the glory!”


by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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