The Pittsburgh Steelers have needs at inside linebacker and there’s a pretty special kid from Iowa that could fill a depth spot for them in this Draft.
Josey Jewell, ILB, Iowa, 6’1″ 235 lbs.
2017 Stats: 12 Games | 132 tackles | 13.5 tackles for loss | 4.5 sacks | 2 INT | 11 passes defensed | 1 forced fumble
The Skinny: Defied many who thought he couldn’t play major college football and went on to lead Iowa in tackles his final three seasons. He’s limited athletically, but you can’t tell this kid he can’t be a player!
What’s to Like: A true field general who knows where everyone is supposed to be and gets them there. He seems to be one of those guys who is around the ball a lot. Good understanding of zone drops, knows how to get into position and fills gaps when he sees them. Understands his limitations which leads to good angels of pursuit. Reads/diagnoses plays well. Has knack for finding creases in short yardage situations and makes plays. Good at getting hands up in passing lanes when he doesn’t get to QB.
What’s Concerning: Not a great sideline-to-sideline guy. The hustle is there but the overall speed and ability are lacking. He struggles to get off blocks from offensive linemen, he’s often engulfed or re-directed by them. Would not trust him in man coverage situations. Just doesn’t have the speed to keep up with running backs or athletic tight ends. As a blitzer will not get home unless he’s totally free. Overall strength is lacking and it shows against linemen who overpower him and at times against aggressively blocking backs in pass protection.
The Verdict: Jewell is a classic “over-achieving” type of player. He’s limited in speed and agility but he finds his way to the ball carrier more often than not. He’s a guy who brings aggression at the point of impact but I don’t see that same aggression when he’s pursuing. Big Ten Offensive Linemen were too often able to get him locked down before he could disengage and I think he’ll struggle to cover in man especially in trail. The thing with this guy is that he will be an outstanding special teams’ player and capable back-up simply because he of his attitude and desire. I see him going in the third or fourth rounds.
Tape Watched: vs PSU ’17… vs. OSU ’17… vs. MSU ’17… vs. WIS ’17… vs. BC ’17
Photo courtesy: goiowaawesome.com
Stats courtesy: sports-reference.com
Video courtesy: DraftBreakdown.com