Growing up, I wanted to become a Florist. I thought it would be fun to make weekly Costco runs to buy the flowers, create arbitrary bouquets that resemble a Jackson Pollock painting and overcharge "homemakers" who'd come back the following week after forgetting to water the flowers because they were too busy giving facebook updates while waiting for a seasonal Starbucks latte at their local Target.
I then turned 12 and realized that this body frame was meant to put bread on the table by becoming a sports blogger. You see, the only difference between me, an Arkansas fan and KJ Jefferson isn't our weight, but rather, it's our ability to realize and to live in reality. While one's beliefs can influence reality, it doesn't mean it is reality. I personally believe there's a correlation between belief and reality, but there is not a causation.
In layman's terms for you Arkansas fans, I write to you today because you're inability to process the reality does not mean you can blow up my Twitter feed without consequences. There are consequences to one's actions, and your most recent load of crap about KJ Jefferson being the best QB in the SEC has Daddy's blood sugar levels looking like a Kings Island roller coaster.
You have left me no other choice but to give you 3 reasons why KJ Jefferson isn't the best QB in the SEC and will be an Undrafted Free Agent in 2024. I'll be sure say "I told you so" come week 5.
1) KJ is built like Flubber and chose to not enter the weakest QB Draft Class in years
About a year ago, the movie "Flubber" was playing at a local Fayetteville restaurant which I didn't think much of until I saw KJ Jefferson in-person playing the University of Cincinnati. It then hit me that if Robin Williams was still with us (pour one out) and was tasked with creating a football player, he'd probably create KJ Jefferson.
Looking at KJ's physique, it's obvious that he doesn't exactly excel in the weight room, yet alone, know where it is. There were articles circulating before last year that KJ was looking to cut down his weight from 250 to 235. I don't mind a QB being around 250 pounds if your name is Anthony Richardson or Cam Newton. However, I do have a problem with it if your physique looks closer to Jared Lorenzen than it does to Josh Allen.
Separately, last year's QB class was the weakest that I've seen in years. It was KJ top-heavy with three QBs taken in the first four picks, but afterwards, only 2 QBs went in the next 64 picks and the #6 QB wasn't taken until pick #127. You look at the names that went in last year's draft, and you'll see names that no Arkansas fan has watched but will gladly tell you how KJ is better. Examples include: Jake Haener, Aidan O'Connell, Clayton Tune, Sean Clifford, Jaren Hall and Tanner McKee.
If it's truly reality that KJ is better than all of those names mentioned, then why didn't he go in the draft and give himself the best chance at being a Day 2 pick or a Day 3 lock? It surely isn't because he's going to get better this year and become a Day 1 pick (more below). I think it's because KJ knew he wouldn't be more than a Round 6+ pick, and he could make more in NIL playing for the Hogs one more year. Think I'm wrong? Just take a look at his SEC Media Day photo and the iced out Richard Mille watch that is going to give his wrist arthritis. Separately, someone may want to do KJ a solid and send him an investopedia article on taxes, because the IRS isn't going to forget about this photo.
Side note: got to love having a QB that's proud enough to wear a Liberty Bowl ring as if it's a SEC Championship ring. Kansas, Georgia. Same thing, right?
2) KJ's stats really aren't that great and are about to get worse
If you're an Arkansas fan and still reading up to this point, you've likely started penning a death threat letter to Big Daddy. After reading this section, I can ensure you that you'll be sending that letter via FedEx overnight. Just make sure to include a stick of Land O' Lakes in your envelope so I can grease up before my demise.
KJ comes into this year with a new offensive coordinator who you'd think was the missing 3rd brother of Lincoln and Garrett Riley after seeing the pre-season expectations that Arkansas fans have fabricated with 0 supporting evidence.
To say the least, KJ is consistent. He's consistently above-average in just about every category but that is it. It's arguable that his biggest threat to opposing defenses in the past was actually his legs, which we will now see less of because the West-Coast style that new coordinator, Dan Enos, prefers.
Looking at Dan Enos' success with previous quarterbacks since 2015, quarterbacks under Enos have annually averaged 2,781 passing yards, 63.2% completion rate, 23 passing touchdowns and 8 interceptions. That's right on-track with KJ's previous stats. Some delusional Arkansas fans may point to the success that Enos has recently had with Taulia Tagovailia, which I don't think was all that special when you consider the amount of pass attempts it took him. These stats clearly don't elicit "best QB in the SEC" thoughts.
Arkansas' best player is Rocket Sanders, and everyone in the locker room should know this. With Arkansas' recurring struggles on defense, they cannot afford to get into the habit of offensive shootouts with the likes of LSU, Ole Miss or Alabama. I think Arkansas is going to be most competitive this year if they keep the ball out of KJ's hands, incorporate two tight-end sets and RPOs, feed Rocket and milk the clock.
3) There's 20 QBs that are better than KJ, including his own backup
Two weeks ago, I sounded off over Twitter (follow @FatCurryBets) and quickly provided 20 NFL eligible QBs who will be drafted ahead of KJ Jefferson in 2024. It's a loaded QB class this year, and KJ better find some down time to tidy up that resume because he's going to be in the Indeed job market a year from now.
My final prediction for KJ this year is that he will not end the season as Arkansas' starting QB. Jacolby Criswell, former Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year, just got to take an entire year of mental reps watching Drake Maye, arguably the #2 pick in this year's draft. I think KJ's durability concerns come to light this year, and he will have a period of injury that sidelines him. Expect Jacolby to come in, revitalize a deflated fan base mid-year, thus instilling life into this team for the remainder of the year and giving a glimpse of hope heading into the 2024 season that will now playing Texas. Expect Enos and Pittman to stick with Criswell and get him as many physical reps as possible.
Don't agree with me? That's fine, but I'll leave you with this final nugget that you didn't ask for. The Sportsbooks currently list Jacolby Criswell as one of 99 players that you can place a Heisman future on. If Arkansas' Over/Under is currently 6.5 and KJ is supposed to be a 1st round pick, then why is a backup who has never played a snap for Arkansas getting Heisman consideration? For reference, no other backup QBs other than Devin Brown (OSU), Tyler Buckner or Ty Simpson (BAMA) are eligible for Heisman bets. Both schools have yet to announce their week-1 starters (although it's likely Kyle McCord and Jalen Milroe), and both schools are predicted to make the College Football Playoffs.