Ben Jacobs, ILB, Fresno State

Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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Ben Jacobs, ILB, Fresno State

Postby Pudge » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:10 pm

Fresno State Senior
40: 4.80 (estimated)


A nice run defender that shows some pop as a hitter and is able to make some plays when he can work downhill. He's not afraid to take on the lead blocker in the hole. Shows some ability to filter through traffic and contribute in short-yardage. Shows some comfort and awareness working in short zones, able to keep things underneath him. He plays hard and gives good effort.


Athletically overmatched. Lacks speed and range to make plays in open field and doesn't have ideal closing burst on the ball. Will take some poor angles and doesn't show great instincts when it comes to locating the ball. Will attack the wrong gaps, and gets stuck in trash and pushed around by blockers at times. Doesn't have the hips or burst to match up in coverage and struggles to change direction in space. Lacks ideal upfield burst to be an impact blitzer. While he'll play his assignment, doesn't make many plays at the point of attack.


He has good size, contributes as a run defender. But he's not an impact playmaker. Jacobs was a four-year starter at middle linebacker that led the team in tackles for three of those years. He combined for 367 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 interception, 9 pass breakups, 4 forced fumbles, and 4 recoveries during his career. He also blocked 7 kicks.


Jacobs has the size you like in a 3-4 inside linebacker, and flashes tools to develop as a run defender. But his value on the next level is going to be as a special teams player. The fact that he blocked so many kicks while at Fresno State suggests that he should be able to make an immediate contribution in that realm. If developed, I think he can be like a less athletic version of Artie Ulmer. If he can stick on special teams, then he'll have a chance to develop on a 3-4 team, but I highly doubt he'll ever make any contribution on defense. His potential even as a stopgap starter is too limited. He just isn't instinctual enough to make up for his lack of athleticism. Frankly, a team might be able to find a better role for him by switching him to offense. He played some tight end in high school, and I think might have some value as a blocking H-back down the road if he gets time to develop there. Regardless of what side of the ball he plays, his NFL future is entirely linked to his ability to perform on special teams. If he is good there, then he could play a couple of years in the league. If not, then he'll be gone by his second or third summer.


Jacobs doesn't fit well in the Falcons 4-3 scheme. At best, you probably move him to SAM linebacker although he would be overmatched in coverage. But he might be better against tight ends than he would be covering backs in the flat. But the Falcons probably would be smart to at least get a look at him as a tight end in training camp to see if he can develop some there. But more than likely, he wouldn't make the Falcons roster because he has too limited upside. He's a practice squad guy at best.


Jacobs should not be drafted. He doesn't have the upside to contribute either offensively or defensively besides being a role player on special teams.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 2.0
Tackling: 3.0
Coverage: 2.0
Point of Attack: 2.5
Instincts: 2.0
Pass Rush: 1.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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