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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: J.D. Bertrand (LB – Notre Dame)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: J.D. Bertrand (LB – Notre Dame)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Notre Dame linebacker J.D. Bertrand.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: J.D. Bertrand

J.D. Bertrand (LB – Notre Dame)

6’1″ – 233 lbs.

Background:

Three-star recruit who played sparingly in 2019 and 2020 before stepping into a starting role and enjoying arguably his most productive year, finishing with 102-6.5-1.0. In 2022, posted 82-8.5-2.0, and then added another 76-7.5-2.5 in 2023 to conclude his collegiate career.

Positives:

Team captain and three-year starter from a major program. Thickly-built linebacker with a rocked-up frame and length that looks a little better than usual for his height. Brings a tough, throwback-style temperament with a lot of energy. Reads keys quickly, playing with good instincts and decisiveness in the run game; not going to get forced into making a lot of false steps. Attacks blocks with aggression and good overall extension; has a lot of power in his hands to jolt blockers. Works hard to pursue out toward the sidelines, and makes some tackles there based on effort alone. Shows some explosiveness into contact, giving him solid stopping power as a tackler. Awareness in zone is solid, and makes quick adjustments. Good communicator to coordinate coverage responsibilities on the fly. Uses his hands well to re-route receivers, with good pop to disrupt timing. Appears to have pretty clean transitions from his drop to driving on a spot in zone.

Negatives:

Frame is probably maxed out. Not the fastest or most fluid linebacker in the class, and doesn’t really seem like he has that extra gear to close when in pursuit. Despite his relatively strong build, can struggle to take on blocks in the run game; balance issues crop up on tape too often, and doesn’t use his hands very well to shed. Could be more consistent about keeping his shoulders square to the line. Coverage responsibilities were mostly limited to short zones, with a little bit of pattern-matching on there; worked hard to carry down the seams on limited snaps during the games reviewed, but may not have the raw speed for that at the next level.

Summary:

One of the better mid-round options available at the linebacker position, he is a tough, physical, and aggressive player with an energetic style of play and some explosive traits. Racked up a ton of tackles over the past three seasons, flying around the field and punishing opponents, but there are also some out-of-control elements to his game, primarily in terms of how he takes on blocks. With a little bit more discipline and some improvements to his base and hand use when taking on blockers, could develop into a solid run-stuffer with the ability to work in short zones.

Projection: Round 4-5

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