NFL Prospect Focus: A.C. Leonard and Nic Jacobs

A.C. Leonard – Tight End – Tennessee State

Size – 6040e – 245e – 4.70e

Strong Points – Athlete, speed, hands, run after catch, willing blocker

Weak Points – Forced transfer from Florida, very raw, pass routes, blocking technique, lacks a consistent effort, always plays from a right-handed stance, plays at a lower level of competition

2013 Stats – 34 catches, 441 yards, 5 TDs

Summation – Leonard is a third-year junior who is entering the Draft early. He originally enrolled at Florida in January 2011 and got playing time as a true freshman the last third of the 2011 season. He had an arrest for battery while at Florida in the spring of 2012 and was asked to leave. He transferred to Tennessee State that summer and was a two year starter. His best season statistically was 2012 when he caught 51 passes for 733 yards and 6 TDs. His production fell off in 2013.
On tape, his athleticism and speed stand out, but he is very raw and not a consistent all out competitor. He lines up in tight and split out. When in tight, he lines up on both sides of the formation but always plays from a right-handed stance. The best thing he does is catch the ball. He has good hands and does a good job adjusting to poorly thrown passes. He is a very inconsistent route runner. You don’t see any discipline in his routes and they are sloppy to say the least. While he flashes the ability to get in and out of cuts quickly, you don’t see it all the time. He has the speed to get open deep and can be a deep threat. He does not show a feel for getting open versus zone coverage. After the catch, he is a strong runner who will break arm tackles and fight for extra yards.
As a blocker, he shows a willingness but lacks technique. He does not know how to get position, keep that position, use his hands, or finish.
Overall, Leonard has talent but is not ready to play in the NFL. I see him as a late draft choice, but in an ideal situation, needs a year on the practice squad to develop his game. He may get drafted higher than my grade because of his speed and athleticism.

Grade – C 6.3

Nic Jacobs – Tight End – McNeese State

Size – 6050e – 260e – 4.83e

Strong Points – Size, hands, willing blocker

Weak Points – Lacks top strength especially in the lower body, pass routes, average speed, plays at lower level of competition

2013 Stats – 32 catches, 453 yards, 4 TDs

Summation – Jacobs is a fourth-year junior who is entering the Draft as an underclassman. He originally enrolled at LSU in 2010 and redshirted. He played as a backup at LSU in 2011 and 2012. He transferred to McNeese for the 2013 season and became a starter.

Jacobs has size and shows fairly good athleticism. He has just average speed for the position. I would estimate that he will run the 40 in the 4.80 – 4.85 range. He usually lines up in tight in their offense.
As a blocker, he has size and shows a willingness, but his technique is poor, and he lacks top lower body strength. Playing against FCS competition, he often gets neutralized, and at times, you see his legs buckle. Still, he will work to finish, and he is adequate as a pass blocker. He shows some bend and can get good position and punch, but he often will give ground to a strong bull rusher.
As a receiver, he has good hands, but he does not show top initial quickness. He is not a sharp route runner, and he can be inconsistent at getting separation. He is used mostly on shirt routes but have seen him go deep a few times. He does not have the speed to be a deep threat at the NFL level. After the catch, he is strong and will work for extra yards but lacks a top burst and does not make defenders miss.
Jacobs is at best a third tight end in an NFL offense. He needs to get stronger, especially in the lower body. He needs to improve his route running skills and will probably need a year on the practice squad.

Grade – C 6.3

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