Jonathan Goff LB Vanderbilt
Jonathan is a powerful LB with good overall LB skills and athletic talent. He is an excellent run stuffing LB who will shed and make the tackle with ease. He has very good "in the box" quickness, north-south speed and has decent change of direction skills. Jonathan looks to me on film to be a smart team player. I believe the more repetitions that Jonathan gets at the next level will be all that is needed to bring out his mental and physical talents. Jonathan exhibits very good leadership qualities. Give him time and, in the right system, he will become a core player for the team that drafts him.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Two things Jonathan needs to improve on: play recognition and instincts. This will only happen through repetitions on the field, practice and time.
TALENT BOARD ROUND 3
Jonathan is a perfect fit right now as a ILB in a 3-4 defense. With his size and strength, most people are looking for Jonathan to lay people out when he tackles them. In my opinion, Jonathan does not feel that laying people out is a productive way to get his job done. He can be productive just by being a sure tackler. Why get hurt or hurt someone else in the process when a stop, is a stop, is a stop - no matter how hard the hit is. You have to respect that because he is right. Getting the job done should be good enough. How you get the job done in the end is not important providing you consistently get the job done. Jonathan is not being talked about for a couple of reasons. The first being that his recognition skills are slow, which gives observers the perception that he's not quick. The other issue is that for his size, people are looking for him to lay people out on the ground, stand over them and scream his name out so everybody notices him. Jonathan is just not that style of player. Jonathan reminds me a lot of a former LB with the Giants Harry Carson. He was an excellent LB who made it into the Hall of Fame and he played along side Lawrence Taylor! To get noticed playing alongside Lawrence Taylor is a very hard thing to do, but Harry was the reason Lawrence made it the first few years he was in the NFL. Jonathan will get better because the weakness of his game right now is easily correctable through hard work and practice; something tells me that is not an issue for this kid. Jonathan is a systems LB who, I believe, before his career is all said and done will be able to play MLB in any system. He will become better the more he plays, but until he does, his impact position is as an ILB in a 3-4 and he should be a very good one before long. I usually do not give systems players a higher talent grade than the fourth round, but Jonathan's combine and workout numbers prove to me that he is as physically talented as most LB's. Looking back at film I saw it was his recognition skill that was his main problem. Recognition skills are easily correctable for a smart player through hard work and with some good coaching. Personally, I'm thinking the Patriots are drooling all over this kid at drafting him at some point of this draft.