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    Curtis Jacobs’ Draft Profile | Penn State LB Scouting Report

    Penn State has produced some of the NFL's best athletes over the last few seasons. Is linebacker Curtis Jacobs the next in line for NFL stardom?

    Penn State’s defense has been a phenomenal NFL factory for the last several seasons under James Franklin, boasting some of the NFL’s best across multiple positions. Is linebacker Curtis Jacobs poised to become that next NFL star?

    What does Jacobs’s NFL Draft outlook look like, and can he make an impact for an NFL franchise?

    Curtis Jacobs Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 6’1″
    • Weight: 236 pounds
    • Position: LB
    • School: Penn State
    • Current year: Redshirt Junior
    • Hand: 10 3/8″
    • Arm: 31 4/8″
    • Wingspan: 78″

    A consensus four-star prospect out of Maryland, Jacobs was the 34th overall prospect in the class of 2020. Jacobs played eight games during the COVID-shortened season as a freshman but didn’t become a full starter until 2021.

    His first full-year starting saw him named an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention after posting 61 tackles, three sacks, and an interception.

    Jacobs followed up with another All-Big Ten Honorable Mention nomination in 2022 and 2023. He finished his Penn State career with over 100 career tackles.

    Jacobs’ Scouting Report

    Games Watched: Iowa (2023), Ohio State (2023), Michigan (2023), Rutgers (2023), Michigan State (2023)

    Strengths

    • Good open field athleticism
    • Smooth backpedal when dropping
    • Keeps his eyes on the QB when dropping in zone
    • True sideline-to-sideline range in pursuit
    • Hot motor

    Weaknesses

    • Inconsistent feel for the run game
    • Flips between overly aggressive in pursuit and geting caught up in blocking or being too slow to trigger and take himself out of the play
    • Small arms
    • Bites on play-action too frequently
    • Poor block deconstruction ability; lacks play strength to get off blocks

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    It’s a tale of two players with Jacobs’ film, and it’ll be interesting to see how NFL teams approach his clear min-max traits and weigh coverage vs. run defense.

    Jacobs’ traits are so evident. He is a good athlete who can move with ease, chasing down plays sideline to sideline. Penn State’s defense was built off of speed, and Jacobs fit right in. His ability to mirror and keep up with tight ends or slot receivers is a strength of his game and should translate to the next level.

    The tricky part is that Jacobs will be targeted in the run game by NFL schemes. His frame looks pretty close to maxed out at 6’1″, 236, and his arms are on the smaller side. Add onto his frequent mental mistakes in the run game, and teams will strike at him and try to work concepts at him early on in his career.


    The good news for Jacobs is that he is still pretty young for a prospect and can grow. Linebacker is a tough position to project because development is all over the place, and it takes time for players to hit their stride.

    By Year 3, Jacobs has the athletic upside and ability to be a starter as a weak-side linebacker and should feature pretty regularly in sub-packages. How quality of a starter he can be will be determined by his mental growth in the NFL.

    KEEP READING: Top LBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

    Looking for everything you need surrounding the 2024 NFL Draft? Make sure to check out the latest draft resultsoverall team grades, and updated best remaining players available at every position!

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