Maryland defensive lineman declares for NFL draft
D.J. Durkin could’ve had two of the top returning defensive linemen to work with.
Instead, both of Maryland’s standout pass-rushers are off to the NFL.
Yannick Ngakoue, who set the program’s single-season sack record this season, declared for the draft three weeks ago. On Thursday, his teammate Quinton Jefferson followed in Nagakoue’s footsteps.
The redshirt junior announced his decision via Twitter:
— Quinton Jefferson (@Q_JEFF) December 18, 2015
A former defensive end, Jefferson made the transition to defensive tackle this season because of Maryland’s switch to a 4-3 defense. His 6.5 sacks were second on the team to only Ngakoue. He also racked up 12.5 tackles for loss in his breakout 2015 campaign.
Jefferson bounced back in a big way after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the beginning of the 2014 season. Nfldraftscout.com rated Jefferson as the 13th-best defensive tackle in the 2016 class.
David Shaw, Kingsley Opara, Azubuike Ukandu are the Terps’ returning defensive tackles.
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft is Jan. 18.