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Is this Jaguars LB “sleeper” late round pick of 2018 NFL Draft?

Florida Football Insiders



Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Every year post-NFL Draft, observers and fans alike will look for the “diamond in the rough” or “sleeper” late round selection that just may end up being a good or even a great player.

The most famous “sleeper” example is that QB in New England, whom the Patriots selected in the sixth round in 2000, after six other quarterbacks and over 150 total selections were taken in front of him. How did that¬† work out, 18 years later?!

Now, what we are about to suggest/write isn’t in the same neighborhood, heck, the same “state,” as the Pats picking Tom Brady. However, in looking over the Bucs, Dolphins and Jaguars selections, arguably the most interesting one with a real chance to succeed is going to be in North Florida.

Leon Jacobs, LB, Wisconsin, taken in seventh round Saturday night.

The Jags got Jacobs with the first of their two final round selections at #230, and most of their fans were either indifferent or had to scramble to their phone or device to look him up. Truthfully, we at F.F.I. did the same.

But, the more that you look, watch and read up on Jacobs, the more that it seems “his upside” for where he was selected, will make him a player to watch come July/August and maybe, beyond.

First, take a look and a listen at what the NFL Network had to say, including Jacobs’ highlights, when Jacksonville made the pick here.

We have to agree that Jacobs “looks” the part of NFL linebacker prospect from a physical standpoint.

Then, here’s some more on him being drafted from the Badgers section of the college sports website, including this breakdown of his final season and last few games:

“Jacobs started all 14 games at outside linebacker last season and recorded 60 tackles, 9 1/2 tackles for loss and 3 1/2 sacks. He was a significant piece to a unit that ranked No. 2 nationally in total defense, No. 3 in scoring defense, No. 3 in rushing defense and No. 1 in pass efficiency defense.

Jacobs played some of his best football down the stretch. He earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after he recorded 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries and returned a fumble for a touchdown against Iowa. He notched 5 tackles with an interception against Ohio State in the Big Ten title game and added 5 tackles with a tackle for loss and a pass breakup against Miami in the Orange Bowl. All the while, his NFL stock continued to rise.”

Again, impressive stuff.

However, we concede and agree that there are reasons that Leon Jacobs lasted as long as he did in the process. Does he take plays off? Is he lost while on the field on assignments and responsibilities sometimes? (that’s huge) All of these things can add up.

Still, Jacobs is coming into a great situation with a fierce young defense and guys like Telvin Smith and Myles Jack already in the linebacker room.

Let’s see, if he turns out to be a “sleeper” among them.

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