Jesse Mahelona   DT   Tennessee

Strengths

Jesse is a pure 1-gap DT.  He has a good, quick burst off the line and gets into the backfield as quick as any DT in this draft.  He is a wide-body that can take up more than one O-lineman and knows how to push the pocket and cause all kinds of problems for a pocket passing QB.  Jesse is a load to handle and his quickness will wear you down as the game goes on. 

 

Needs to Improve

Jesse has serious problems with his balance.  He is always off balance and the pro offensive linemen are just going to push him right to the ground if he does not learn some better techniques.  Jesse is not interested in learning to be a two-gap DT.  You can see it in his play.  He is undisciplined and guesses the snap count to get his jump.

 

Talent Board Round   4

When Jesse hears the snap count, it looks like someone has just goosed him from behind with a cattle prod.  He is undisciplined and not interested in going one-on-one with any O-lineman.  It looks to me like Jesse gets most of his jump off the line by guessing.  If you notice, when he plays at home, he is much better off the snap than when he plays away from home.  Home crowd noise makes visiting teams use the same snap count, so Jesse is smart enough to know that and anticipate the snap better at home then on the road.  He is also on the ground way too much and doesnít seem to have very much lateral agility to hold the line.  He is also out of shape.  His upper body strength for a man his size is terrible.  Thatís why he doesnít want to go head to head with the O-line.  Iíll say this for Jesse, he is a smart kid.  Smart enough to fool people into thinking that he can play even though he has a terrible work ethic.  Playing DT at the next level is not just about being quick off the ball.  I think Jesse is about to learn that the hard way.  Right now, Jesse is a rotation DT for a 1-gap system and has a long way to go before he can become a starter and I think he knows that!  The funny thing is that even though Jesse is a smart kid, I think he thinks that no one else knows that.  I wonder who is fooling themselves?  Jesse or the team that drafts him?
by Drew Boylhart

THR

March 2006