Curtis Jacobs 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Cousin, Andre Levrone, played for the Carolina Panthers
- Two-way player in high school who logged more than 2,000 career receiving yards
- Volunteers at his mother’s camp for underprivileged youth in the summer
- Scheme tendencies: Even front, gap control principles, variety of coverage shells
- 2022 projected role: Overhang defender and outside linebacker
Pros: Curtis Jacobs is a fluid athlete who offers the kind of mobility and quickness in space to be an impact WILL linebacker who can serve as a bridge between your base defense and subpackage groups versus 11-personnel. Jacobs was a splash player on the Nittany Lions’ defense in 2021, offering impact plays in coverage and as a gap-shooting defender from both depth and off the edge. I don’t necessarily think that Jacobs has that kind of versatility at the NFL level but it is significant to see him making plays in a variety of ways early on. Jacobs showed good awareness and anticipation of when to cheat down into gaps and when to crash hard off the edge, helping boost his production as a player with seven tackles for loss throughout the 2021 season. His long speed and scrape range are very high and from the back side of formations, I see no reason why he can’t continue to be an effective pursuit defender. His short-yardage defending value (goal line) stems from that initial suddenness that he offers as a plus athlete.
Cons: Curtis Jacobs’ best plays to date have come more from being an athlete charged with attacking from space as compared to consistently keying and diagnosing action in the front. I’m not sure he’s a three-down linebacker unless he shows growth in his ability to play in a stack role, but he’s still inexperienced so projection and growth here is a reasonable expectation. Jacobs is a bit undersized for playing in the box based on his 2021 measurables and play strength. Putting him in tight quarters and asking him to negotiate blocks from offensive linemen is doing him a disservice relative to where he wins. That will cause some hard projections for some teams and other teams may not want to have to work to craft a clear sub-role for him in their defense. I’m excited to see if he can become more filled out and build in some consistent reads and keys as a stack linebacker to build on his current foundation in 2022.
Curtis Jacobs NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs