December 11, 2015 - Greg Gabriel
Breaking Down OC Jack Allen and LB Jaylon Smith
Jack Allen – OC – Michigan State Jack is a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter for the Spartans. The former 3-star recruit redshirted as a true freshman in 2011 and has been a starter ever since. As a redshirt freshman in 2012 he had starts at both center and guard but has been strictly a center since. Size – 6'2" – 295 – 5.20 (all estimates) Strong Points – Four-year starter, has some experience at guard. Make the line calls and is very alert. Good athlete who stays on his feet. Tough and competitive, goes snap to whistle. Consistent run and pass blocker, is able to get to second level. Is used to pull on occasion. Plays with good strength. Tries to be physical. Weak Points – Lacks ideal height and is about as big as he is going to get. Looks to have average arm length. Doesn’t keep his hands consistently inside. Has missed two games in each of the last two seasons with ankle injuries. Summation – A smart, tough and tenacious four-year starter. May lack ideal size but makes up for it with his smarts and toughness. Is athletic enough to play in space and adjust on the move. While he isn’t flashy, he is very efficient. I see him as an eventual starter in the league. Can start for a team with a need as a rookie. He’s the type that can have a long career barring injury. Not special, but very solid. Jaylon Smith – LB – Notre Dame Jaylon is a third-year junior and a three-year starter for the Irish. All indications are he will enter the draft this spring. As a freshman he played outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. In 2014, as a sophomore, Notre Dame switched to a 4-3 and Jaylon was moved inside to the Will linebacker position. For the season, Smith has 113 total tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, 5 passes broken up. Size – 6'2" – 242 – 4.48 (all estimates) Strong Points – Rare athlete for a linebacker. Moves like a defensive back. Has speed, change of direction and body control. He is a top competitor, who plays a very aggressive game. Very strong and explosive. Great tackler. Can dominate games. Very good in coverage with good ball reactions. Excellent ability to take on and shed blocks both at the line of scrimmage and on the move. Great pursuit player. Weak Points – Lacks sack production (but he is not used as a pass rusher very often), can get caught out of position at times. Summation – Perhaps the best linebacker in this draft. Is scheme versatile in that he can play inside in a 3-4 or 4-3 and can also play outside in a 3-4. His sack production should not be an issue as he isn’t used to rush the passer that often. There is not much he can’t do, but he needs to play a bit more disciplined game because he will get caught out of position at times. Will be a very high pick and will start right away. Has Pro Bowl type potential very early in his career.