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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Curtis Jacobs (LB – Penn State)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Curtis Jacobs (LB – Penn State)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Curtis Jacobs.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Curtis Jacobs

Curtis Jacobs (LB – Penn State)

6’1″ – 238 lbs.

Background:

Four-star recruit who rotated in lightly back in 2020, then took over a starting role the following year and has maintained it for the past three seasons. Posted 61-7.0-3.0 in 2021, 52-7.5-4.5 the following year, and 49-9.0-2.5 this past season, adding two career interceptions.

Positives:

Three-year starter for a major program. Well-built for the modern game, with good functional strength and a tough style of play. Experience comes through in his play on the field. Plays with some patience in the run game and avoids taking too many false steps; generally does a solid job of locating the ball and flowing in the play direction while keeping his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. Gets good extension and holds up well when taking on blocks between the tackles, showing a strong lower body. Flashes the ability to make tackles while engaged. Shows a solid motor in pursuit out toward the sidelines; doesn’t give up on plays. Offers a pretty wide tackling radius and good stopping power. Was asked to cover a bit more ground and handle a bit more demanding coverage responsibilities than usual, sometimes getting out near the sidelines to defend screens/flats/wheel routes. Does a pretty good job of shuffling to find clear lanes to the passer.

Negatives:

Production and snap count diminished every year. Some wasted motion to his movements. Overall athleticism is adequate but plays made on the outside typically come from effort rather than true sideline-to-sideline range; not going to be the first guy to the boundary in pursuit. Lacks explosive traits. Efficiency as a tackler dipped a bit this season, although he was still relatively reliable. Handled some fairly rigorous coverage responsibilities but will probably be limited to manning short zones at the next level and could even rotate off the field on passing downs.

Summary:

A three-year starter who doesn’t always look like the most graceful linebacker, but who shows the patience to read keys and effectively locate the football, taking on blocks effectively between the tackles and offering a wide tackling radius. Had more responsibilities in coverage at the college level than he likely will as a pro, owing to what looks like a relatively average athletic profile. Nonetheless, in a draft class which doesn’t have a very clear pecking order at linebacker, his more pro-ready game could appeal to teams as they look to build depth at the position in the middle of the draft. Would probably fit best as an inside linebacker behind an odd front.

Projection: Round 5

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