DE Jalen Jelks, Oregon

6’5” – 256 lbs. – 4.92

Redshirted, then appeared in eleven games, picking up three sacks as a reserve. Played in eight games the next year, going 31-4.0-2.0, then became a full-time starter in 2017 (58-15.0-6.5 as a junior, 57-7.5-3.5 in a less-productive senior campaign). Very tall, long player who has an athletic build. Despite his lack of ideal bulk, spent his junior year playing as a five-technique right defensive end on a team which usually plays with three down linemen in a front using two-gap principles; shifted to a rush linebacker role as a senior. Patient in his run fits, with a good pad level and the arm extension to lock out opposing blockers; knows his assignment and stays on task. Needs about forty more pounds of bulk to play the five-technique at the pro level but managed to hold up pretty well against interior linemen at the college level. Creates some jolt on contact to help establish favorable position. Has pretty strong hands to discard blockers and make tackles at the appropriate time. Has a wide tackling radius by virtue of his length; good awareness of the ballcarrier helps keep him in position to take advantage of that. Good athlete who looks smooth pursuing outside rushing attempts toward the sidelines; rangier than your typical defensive end. Flexible with good body control. Doesn’t offer much as a pass-rusher, possibly because of the defensive scheme he was playing in, but appears to lack suddenness and creativity and tends to end up either idling around the line of scrimmage or trying to walk back blockers with a bull-rush. Strong hand use in the run game doesn’t really carry over to pass-rush approach. Smoother than he is explosive, without the ability to really challenge the edge with speed, although at times he flashes the ability to dip his shoulder and bend an arc. Slid inside on some obvious passing downs but didn’t have a ton of success there. Was able to get some penetration by firing out low and with suddenness on inside moves but that wasn’t a major element of his game. Has the size and length to bat passes and knocked down seven as a junior but just one this past year. Also made limited drops into coverage as a senior. Sort of a difficult projection in that he puts together better tape as a two-gap, five-technique defensive end, but doesn’t have anything close to the bulk teams usually look for in that position. Consequently, senior-year tape may be more relevant to teams.

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