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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ivan Pace Jr (LB – Cincinnati)

by Matthew Jones
Jan 29, 2023
Ivan Pace Jr.

As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at Ivan Pace.

Check out all of our 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports & Prospect Profiles >>

2023 NFL Draft Guide: Prospect Rankings & Player Profiles

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ivan Pace Jr (LB – Cincinnati)

Ivan Pace Jr. (LB – Cincinnati)

6’0” – 235 lbs.


Cincinnati native who spent the first three years of his collegiate career at Miami University in Ohio, rotating into the defense and posting 19-7.5-7.0, including a six-sack game against Akron. Started all three of the team’s games in 2020, finishing with 26 tackles, then had an outstanding junior campaign of 125-13.0-4.0 and an interception before transferring to Cincinnati to play with his brother. Was even better this past season, with a monster line of 136-20.5-9.0.


Highly productive middle linebacker with a favorable trajectory. Has a pretty thick build and has played at higher weights earlier in his career. Violent downhill player. Has a physical style and attacks blocks with aggression; hands are surprisingly strong when discarding. Light on his feet, with the suddenness to slip by blockers and get to the ball. Takes good angles in lateral pursuit, showing the ability to line up opponents and deliver thumping hits in space. Pretty efficient tackler who’s only missed 11.8% of his career attempts. Has been a very effective pass-rusher over the course of his career, relying on a combination of speed changes, the ability to find clear lanes to the passer, and intensity. Can dip his shoulder and bend a pretty good arc back to the passer. Shows a violent spin move that could be viable at the next level. Closes fast when spying the passer, recording a lot of his sacks this way. Flashes quick hips
when dropping into zones.


Overall athleticism is closer to adequate; doesn’t have a major explosive element to his game. Can be a beat slow to diagnose at times. Contact balance is inconsistent. Plays downhill well but can struggle to hold the point of attack when he’s not attacking. Takes some indirect routes by trying to work around blockers, rather than stepping into the hole to seal. Doesn’t always look like he’s going full-speed on plays toward the sidelines. Responsibilities in coverage were limited; often spying the quarterback if he isn’t blitzing.


An interesting player who’s actually at his best when rushing the passer, closing fast as a spy and being able to time his rushes and combine a nice shoulder dip with solid bend between the tackles. Also shows impressive physicality in the run game, with the ability to line up opposing ballcarriers in space and deliver big hits. However, doesn’t have quite as much experience in coverage as many of his peers, so it’s possible he might need to play on a team that’s willing to tailor a role to his skillset.

Projection: Round 4

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