Name: Jeremiah Ledbetter
Position fit: Played 3-technique as well as edge, fits best as a base end who kicks inside in the nickel. Also possesses the frame to develop as a 3-4 defensive end
Stats to know: Registered 22 knockdowns, but only 22 hurries, in his final two years of college.
What he does best:
- Good first step, fires off the ball on the majority of snaps.
- Decent bend, can run the arc against more cumbersome guards.
- Flashes good hand placement as a pass-rusher.
- Possesses a decent repertoire of finesse moves including an impressive rip move.
- Solid lateral agility, but not the smoothest changing direction.
- Pursues plays from the backside, displays high effort.
- Enjoys intermittent success with power moves.
- Quicker than guards on the interior.
- Flashes the ability to use his length in the run game.
- Weak lower body and poor leverage combine to make defending the run a big problem.
- Fails to deliver any force in his initial strike.
- Struggles to cleanly shed blocks once he’s identified the running lane.
- Frequently overmatched at the point of attack, lacks functional strength.
- Gets caught upfield in the run game.
- Alarmingly lost solo duels against tight ends on occasion.
- Lacks the athleticism to consistently win on the edge.
- Takes an age to go full circle using the spin move.
- Might be a tweener – too light for the interior, lacks the quickness to play edge.
Player comparison: Adrian Clayborn, Atlanta Falcons
Clayborn has been used in a variety of different roles in the NFL, with only intermittent success. Although he has impacted games as a pass-rusher at times, Clayborn has struggled to nail down a specific position, and starting role, over his six-year career. Ledbetter’s skillset is equally as enigmatic. While his quickness off the ball is an asset inside, he lacks the strength to hold up at the point of attack. While Ledbetter has talent, the lack of positional clarity will likely count against him during the draft process.
Bottom Line: Ledbetter intrigues because of his mixture of explosion and size (6-foot-3, 34 ¼ inch arms). Defensive line coaches could convince themselves he can be moulded into a rotational NFL defensive lineman. Production is not always the principle factor in late-round selections, particularly at his position. Ledbetter will require significant development to carve out an NFL career, but he has the raw tools to get there. He’ll come into consideration on Day 3.