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NFL Draft 2018: Wisconsin LB Leon Jacobs scouting report

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The athletic linebacker could find an NFL home this weekend.

Leon Jacobs at UW’s pro day on March 14.
Leon Jacobs at UW’s pro day on March 14.
Jake Kocorowski

A few of Wisconsin’s draft prospects this season went through position changes while in Madison, but I don’t think any had as many as Leon Jacobs.

Coming to Wisconsin as an outside linebacker, he was then moved to inside linebacker. After being moved due to increased depth inside, he was sent back to the offensive side of the ball, where he was recruited out of high school by Penn State. After a short stint at fullback, he was moved back to inside linebacker as a redshirt junior due to attrition at the position. Then, as a senior, he was moved back to his original position, outside linebacker. That’s where he thrived this past season.

Leon Jacobs Measurables

Height Weight Arm Length Hand Size 40-Yard Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump 20-Yard Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Height Weight Arm Length Hand Size 40-Yard Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump 20-Yard Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
6'3 246 pounds 33.5" 9.5" 4.48 seconds 26 reps 34.5" 10'2 4.44 seconds 7.14 seconds

*Measurables reported by NFL.com from the Scouting Combine

Strengths: Chiseled physique with a thick lower half and a large, thick upper body. Has played both inside and outside linebacker with experience playing in space as field linebacker. Has above-average speed for the linebacker position. Sets a physical edge, keeping his outside arm free to disengage and chase down the ball carrier. Converts speed to power as a pass rusher; still developing his pass-rush plan.

Weaknesses: One full year as starter. A bit linear as an athlete, tight in the hips. Lacks the length to thrive on the edge. Mostly an effort pass rusher at this point.

Summary: Jacobs epitomizes what it means to be a team-first player. Switched positions four times and excelled at every spot. I think you could get away with Jacobs as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but his real home might be as a 4-3 “Sam” (strong-side) linebacker, where he can use his block-shedding ability to read the run, while staying closer to the line of scrimmage to mask his lack of hip flexibility in coverage.

Projection: 6th-7th Round