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How Jacksonville Fans View The Leo Position


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Once again in the NFL Draft it appears that the Jacksonville Jaguars will be looking for a LEO edge rusher. The team hasn't really been able to find one yet, using some patchwork players like Chris Clemons and Jason Babin in that spot, but with the No. 3 overall pick it's looking likely they could use that to finally pick the long term solution there.



The past two offseason's I've presented some benchmarks to look for in a LEO edge rusher, at least in terms of athleticism. You can view the 2013 benchmarks here and the 2014 benchmarks here, and for the most part they were pretty accurate.


The player will need to have arms measuring at least 33 inches, preferably longer. The player will need to run at least a 1.6 in the 10-yard split in the 40-yard dash, preferably lower. The player will also need to clock a sub 7.1 and a sub 4.4 in the 3-cone and shuttle drills, respectively. Last season I included vertical jump and broad jump into the mix, because those are usually measures of explosion. I debated upping the vertical from 32" to 34", but decided against it.



Here are the results for the benchmarks in 2015:


Screen_Shot_2015-02-28_at_6.10.59_PM.0.p



The only player to hit all the marks is Virginia OLB/DE Eli Harold, who raised a lot of eyebrows at the combine. He was a productive pass rusher in the ACC, but he certainly appears to be someone who would fit that LEO mold, though he's projected to go in the late first to early second round.


Some players I didn't include because they didn't run at the combine and some players did do all of the drills (Randy Gregory and Bud Dupree), but I have a feeling those two probably would have hit their marks. It's also worth noting that Vic Beasley missed hitting all the marks by half an inch with his arm length, so I'd consider that irrelevant.



The two most interesting players to me however are Miami's Anthony Chickallo and NDSU's Kyle Emanuel. Chickallo was used oddly at Miami, to put it nicely, often playing the role of a five-technique. He showed flashes as a pass rusher and was highly touted as a recruit, but it didn't appear as if Miami really "unleashed him" at all. On the flip side, Emanuel was a sack machine for NDSU with nearly 20 sacks last season and he caught a lot of people's eyes with how fluid he appeared doing linebacker drills.


Edited by A Dog Named Brian
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Funny they mention Eli Harold and Preston Smith. I really like Eli as a 2nd round LEO and Smith has versatility in spades, dude can play all over the place, very much like a more athletic, rawer Michael Bennett. I know a few people in the draft forum love Chickillo, though I haven't watched him that much. Looks like Fowler is a bad fit according to their metrics too..."shocking"

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Eli Harold seems to be a great trade back option if all the other pass rushers are off the board.

Harold is a interesting guy. His measurables are off the chart. He's got some production but was on a bad team

He could be a riser come draft day...believe it or not if we grabbed him early or had a slight trade back for him I wouldn't complain. I like him

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I liked Eli Harold before I even saw this. A month ago I thought that Harold would last to the second round but for whatever reason, over the past couple of weeks, I've thought that Harold may go in the late 1st round. Remember when Marcus Smith was projected in the 2nd or 3rd but went late 1st to Philly? I'm kind of worried that Harold will end up like that and not last to our 2nd pick.

Lately I've began to believe that Beasley and Fowler won't be there at #8 and that we'd have to choose between Ray, Dupree, and Gregory.

I've warmed up to Gregory lately, despite the pot incident, as possibly playing linebacker.

What if (and it's not likely) we ended up with Gregory at SLB and Harold at LEO?

Durant-Reed-Gregory

Harold-Hageman-Soliai-Clayborn

Shembo, Schofield, Maponga, Biermann as pass rush depth.

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Benardrick McKinney also fits a lot of the criteria listed here:

33" arm length

1.64 10-yard split (misses the grade by 0.04 seconds)

7.21 3-cone (misses the grade by a 0.11 seconds)

4.27 20-yard shuttle

40.5" vertical jump, 3rd-highest of any linebacker at the combine

121" broad jump

I saw some reports after the combine that some teams would consider him as an edge rusher instead of an inside linebacker, and there may be some merit to that. He should at least be given the chance to blitz a lot from the MIKE by whoever does draft him.

Another really interesting prospect not on this list is Davis Tull, from University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

He wasn't able to run at the Combine, but he put up:

42.5" vertical jump, best of any linebacker

132" broad jump, second-best of any linebacker

He also ran a 4.57 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, and that was with his hamstring tightening up on him halfway through.

He lacks the length -- 31.5" arm length -- but other than that he may be the most physically-gifted and explosive linebacker available, from an athletic standpoint, other than Bud Dupree.

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Quinn said there were about 8 guys he thought fit the bill for the LEO. Just based on the table above, those 8 players would be:

Beasley
Chickillo
Clark
Harold
Smith
Wagenmann
Dupree
Gregory

They're the ones that only miss out on 2 or fewer of these benchmarks.

Could be very interesting if we don't pick a pass rusher in the 1st round and go for someone like Brandon Scherff or Kevin White/Amari Cooper instead. Quinn might gamble on taking a guy like Eli Harold or Preston Smith in the 2nd round and turning them into a force.

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According to that chart Malliciah Goodman would be a great LEO. I'm not saying he is, but his numbers from his pro-day matches every category besides 3, and the 3 categories are very close.

Chart Arm - 33 inches (Malliciah arm 36 3/8 inches)

10 yd split - 1.60 sec (Malliciah 1.67 sec)

3 cone - 7.10 sec (Malliciah 7.10 sec)

Shuttle - 4.40 sec (Malliciah 4.48 sec)

Vert - 32 inches (Malliciah 33 inches)

Broad Jump - 115 (Malliciah 114)

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According to that chart Malliciah Goodman would be a great LEO. I'm not saying he is, but his numbers from his pro-day matches every category besides 3, and the 3 categories are very close.

Chart Arm - 33 inches (Malliciah arm 36 3/8 inches)

10 yd split - 1.60 sec (Malliciah 1.67 sec)

3 cone - 7.10 sec (Malliciah 7.10 sec)

Shuttle - 4.40 sec (Malliciah 4.48 sec)

Vert - 32 inches (Malliciah 33 inches)

Broad Jump - 115 (Malliciah 114)

Quinn does want him to lose weight.

http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/12233/a-smaller-goodman-could-help-falcons-pass-rush

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According to that chart Malliciah Goodman would be a great LEO. I'm not saying he is, but his numbers from his pro-day matches every category besides 3, and the 3 categories are very close.

Chart Arm - 33 inches (Malliciah arm 36 3/8 inches)

10 yd split - 1.60 sec (Malliciah 1.67 sec)

3 cone - 7.10 sec (Malliciah 7.10 sec)

Shuttle - 4.40 sec (Malliciah 4.48 sec)

Vert - 32 inches (Malliciah 33 inches)

Broad Jump - 115 (Malliciah 114)

I didn't realize his numbers was like that. He still makes for a better LDE in Quinn's system.

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