Jerel has the size and athletic talent to be a dominant defensive tackle in the NFL for the team that drafts him. He is a pure 4-3 defensive tackle who likes to show up in his opponent's backfield and intimidate. When he wants to play, he requires double teaming on almost every play. He has a wingspan that puts him in the vision and the passing lanes of a quarterback on those third and long downs when he is double teamed. Jerel has good feet and excellent balance. When he shoots the gap, he does a solid job of staying on his feet and changing directions. He has the athletic talent to be an excellent defensive end in a 3-4 defense, but has not played in that style of defense for his college team. He is not consistently quick off the ball, but he is strong off the ball and when he does get a good jump and shoots the gap, he is very hard to handle. When Jerel is motivated, he can dominate a college game all by his little old self.
Jerel's techniques are very poor for a 2-gap defense right now. He doesn't shed very quickly or keep his head up to see the ball then make the tackle. Against Iowa this past sason, he was handled all day long one-on-one. In the Iowa game he also was off the field when it was third and long and his team went to three down linemen. Right now Jerel is what I call a mauler when he rushes the passer. He does not really have very good pass rushing techniques. He doesn't seem to play well with his teammates on stunts unless he wants to and doesn't seem to care what the down and distance is on play to anticipate what he will do to his opponent on any given play. He just plays better than everyone else...when he wants to.
When I watch Jerel play, it's like a war is going on in my head. All I hear is a big BOOOOM. The problem is I'm not sure if that boom is a good boom or the boom of an exploding hot air balloon! Jerel is your prototypical size-speed defensive tackle who the coaches just have to draft. No matter how much film they watch of this kid not living up to his talent, all they can think about and remember is the film where he does live up to his talent and dominates. He is your typical "I can coach him up" player. You know, the kind coaches and GM's either lose their jobs over for drafting too high or one around whom they build their defense. Jerel has shown me through his play on the field that he is not a team player, not a smart player and maybe not a coachable player. He has also shown me the athletic talent to dominate college teams with less than average offensive lineman and not dominate a team like Iowa with very good offensive lineman. That's enough for me to wait until his first contract is up in the NFL to see who the real Jerel is. In spite of what I would do, I guarantee you that will not be what most of the 32 teams in this draft will do. Most of them will feel (after his workouts and agent marketing) that they have no choice but to draft Jerel really early in this draft. If a top ten team drafts this kid and he does not show up for work, look for the coach, the GM or both to be fired the next year. It happens every year. For me in the 2nd round, Jerel is worth the calculated risk, but anyplace in the first round is more of a risk than I would be willing to take. It takes more than talent to play in the NFL and that's what I try to profile. I would not put my job on the line for this kid with the information I have in front of me right now and that is what the draft is all about. If he proves me wrong and he turns into a Hall of fame defensive tackle, so be it. I can deal with that but, I don't draft potential boom or bust players in the first round. That's just me!
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Jan /12