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    Jeremiah Trotter Jr.’s Draft Profile | Clemson, LB Scouting Report

    Can Clemson LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. follow in his father's footsteps to be an NFL starter? Here's a closer look at his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report.

    Clemson’s Jeremiah Trotter Jr. is a legacy prospect with strong pedigree and production, but where does he rank in the 2024 NFL Draft LB class? With his scouting report, can he challenge for early-round capital? Let’s take a closer look.

    Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 6’0″
    • Weight: 230 pounds
    • Length: 31 1/2″
    • Wingspan: 74 3/4″
    • Hand: 9 1/4″
    • Position: Linebacker
    • School: Clemson
    • Current Year: Junior

    If there’s any 2024 NFL Draft LB prospect who was absolutely built to play LB at the NFL level, it’s Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

    Trotter’s father — Jeremiah Trotter Sr. — was an All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl LB in the NFL a couple of decades ago. The senior Trotter played 11 seasons, mostly for the Philadelphia Eagles, and amassed almost 1,000 career tackles.

    MORE: Top LBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

    Fast forward to today, and the younger Trotter is well on his way to following in his father’s footsteps. He was a high four-star recruit and a top-50 talent in the 2021 recruiting class, and in less than two years, he grew to become an impactful force for the Tigers’ defense.

    In 2022, Trotter amassed 89 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, two picks, and five deflections. And in 2023, he essentially matched his numbers from the previous year, adding 88 tackles, 15 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, two picks, five pass breakups, and two forced fumbles to his career totals.

    Trotter has the proven production and the NFL bloodlines, and the tape confirms that he has all of the necessary physical and mental tools to have an impact at the professional level.

    Trotter Jr.’s Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Fleet-footed accelerator with exceptional on-attack explosiveness through corridors.
    • Shows glimpses of impressively nimble motion and horizontal burst on the lateral plane.
    • Sports a squatty, dense, and compact frame with solid mass and proportional length.
    • Shows off impressive core strength for his size when wrenching through anchors.
    • Has enough long speed to cover ground from the hash to the boundary.
    • Flashes extremely rare flexibility and balance when combatting second-level blocks.
    • Can freely contort his body to bend around extensions and keep himself clean.
    • Stellar football IQ shows an ability to keep gap discipline, track plays, and set up blocks.
    • Has extremely quick response to stimulus and adaptability tracking zone runs laterally.
    • Strong form tackler who can lower pads, lead with the shoulder, wrap up, and drive.
    • Launches into contact with authority but also does so with control and a good base.
    • Has the explosiveness and flexibility to make last-second corrections with attack angles.
    • Has excellent coverage instincts and reaction quickness and can break early on passes.
    • Sound second-level coverage defender with depth discipline and route recognition.
    • Dynamic pass-rushing threat who can bend through gaps and use combative hands.

    Weaknesses

    • Initial explosiveness isn’t always quantifiably elite out of transitions.
    • Lacks high-end long speed and range, as gaps will sometimes widen while in pursuit.
    • Appeared sluggish through and out of lateral transitions at times in 2023.
    • With muscle-bound frame, can be a bit stiff and heavy-footed on redirections.
    • Sometimes attempts to undercut runs through interior gaps, walling himself off.
    • Sometimes uses tugs to aid direction changes at route stems when WRs get a step.
    • Sometimes gives up a bit too much cushion against targets in the flats.
    • Can be baited out of second-level lanes by option plays, losing positioning.
    • Occasionally loses track of the ball on option exchanges, delaying reactions.
    • Sometimes lacks a plan as a pass rusher and can be stalled by initial blocks.
    • Dealt with a hamstring injury for portions of the 2023 season, which sapped at mobility.

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    Trotter Jr. grades out as a fringe top-100 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and one of the better LB prospects in the class. His ceiling might not be as high as prospects like Payton Wilson, Edgerrin Cooper, and Trevin Wallace — to name a few — but he could have a defined role waiting for him at the NFL level.

    Trotter entered the 2023 season as one of the best traditional LB prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. He has the necessary linear explosiveness and play strength, but the most impressive qualities on tape were his football intelligence, block deconstruction, evasion ability, and his instincts in close quarters.

    Trotter’s always been a strong tackler, a sharp processor, an instinctive second-level tracker, and a finisher. But in 2023, he took a step up with his top-end playmaking ability, both as a pass rusher and a coverage defender.

    In coverage, Trotter’s awareness allows him to maintain proper depth, key in on targets, and hawk in front of short passes. And in the pass-rushing phase, he’s activated his burst and flexibility to become a dangerous gap-invading threat.

    That said, while the top-end flashes of playmaking were prevalent in 2023, Trotter took a step back with his lateral mobility and consistency on early downs against the run. Trotter isn’t the smoothest mover on change-of-direction, which can impact his congestion navigation and malleability while traversing gaps.

    Trotter was dealing with a hamstring issue in 2023, which may have sapped at his lateral mobility. But there’s still a question looming about whether or not he can survive as more than a run-and-chase attacking LB.

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    Nevertheless, in that run-and-chase role, Trotter has most of the necessary physical and intangible components to be a venerable force pressing downhill and a quality cover man in short and intermediate zones. Particularly in SAM roles where he can blitz and crash the line, he can be a value player in the middle rounds.

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