Jacob has the speed, football intelligence and instincts to play any one of the linebacker positions. He has the size and bulk right now to be an outside linebacker, but don't let that fool you. This kid is a complete, impactful linebacker. He shows excellent skills in pass coverage and a burst to the ball that not many linebackers in this draft have on every down. He is one of the quickest linebackers in this draft; his timing and instincts when going to rush the passer are among the best in this draft. Jacob is a player who will fill the hole, shed a block and make the tackle. He is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler who shows leadership skills through his play on the field. The truth is, I believe that Jacob is truly one of the better linebackers in this draft. Unfortunately, the problem right now is that Jacob is a part time linebacker and a bit of an anomaly at this point of the draft.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
I'm not sure why this kid is not on the field every down. He is an every down linebacker, but LSU did not use him that way. He also has not been invited to the combine or the Senior Bowl. All I can tell you is what I see on the film and what I see in his talent, skill and instinct tell me he'll make a hell of a linebacker. Interestingly, a linebacker who is not being noticed at all by anyone but me, so you tell me why! Maybe there is a medical problem that I don't now about or maybe there are character issues that are not showing up in his play on the field for me to sense. All I can tell you is this kid is a hell of a player.
The talent board does not suggest to you where a player might be selected in the draft. Rob's value board does that. Jacob is a perfect example of how the two boards interact to give you a better understanding of how a player who is selected in the late rounds of a draft can become an impact player for the team that drafts him in the NFL. Jacob is the definition of a sleeper. He is not from a small program and there is plenty of film on him. He has played against some of the top talent at the college level. Every time I have seen LSU play this year, #54 was making an impact play on defense. He is smooth and efficient and the LSU defense was better when he was on the field. He just knows how to play the game of football. His talent and instincts are at the same level, and yet LSU seems to feel that he was not starting linebacker material for them. Perhaps I am mistaken about his pure speed, but I'm not about his talent to play at the next level. If I'm a GM looking at film of LSU, I would want to know why no one in the NFL draft world is listing this kid at all right now. I would want to know why Jacob was in a rotation situation? I would want to know why he was not invited to the Senior Bowl or Combine. There is no excuse for this kid being off the field at any time or in any game for LSU. I'm sure he could even play on the other side of the ball as a tight end or H-back -- he has that type of talent. The talent in the linebackers was good at LSU this year. But there was no one who played linebacker for LSU this year that was better than Jacob. Just about all of the impact plays made by the LSU linebackers this year were made by Jacob! So you tell me! Where is he? What is he doing and why was he not invited to the Combine and Senior Bowl? You cannot look at film this year of an LSU game and not see this kid flash across your screen as he makes a play. Damn...am I the only one watching film out here?
Drew Boylhart 2/10