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2018 NFL Scouting Report: Scouting Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell

Jewell would add a tackling machine to the Broncos linebacking position.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Florida vs Iowa Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One prospect who the Broncos brought in for a pre-draft visit and may interest them on day two or three of the 2018 NFL Draft is former Iowa linebacker, Josey Jewell. He is a 6’1”, 235lb linebacker who is considered one of the more intriguing mid-round prospects in the draft. Jewell is ranked as the 4th best inside linebacker prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft according to NFLDraftScout.com and is considered the 93rd overall prospect in the entire draft.

Jewell played four seasons at Iowa and put up some impressive numbers during that span. During his four-year career at Iowa, Jewell totaled a whopping 433 tackles, 28 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, 6 interceptions, 1 defensive touchdown, 26 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries and 3 forced fumbles. This past season for Iowa, Jewell totaled 132 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 11 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery and 1 forced fumble.

Jewell’s 2017 honors include the Roy J. Carver Most Valuable Player, Permanent Team Captain, Hayden Fry Award, Iron Hawk Award, 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy, recipient of 2017 Jack Lambert Award presented by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, unanimous Consensus First Team All-America, first team All-America by AFCA, Associated Press, FWAA, Sporting News, Walter Camp, College Sports Madness, CollegeFootballNews.com, ESPN.com, SBNation.com, USA Today, and Phil Steele, named Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten Conference, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeFootballNews.com, named Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year in the Big Ten Conference, Academic All-Big Ten for third year, first team All-Big Ten by league coaches and media, one of five finalists for Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and one of five players named to Senior CLASS Award first team.

Josey Jewell, Senior, Iowa

Height: 6’1” Weight: 235lbs 40 time: 4.82 seconds

Arm Length: 32” Hands: 10”

Bench Press: 18 reps Vertical Jump: 33 inches Broad Jump: 117.0 inches

3-Cone Drill: 6.8 seconds 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.27 seconds

60-Yard Shuttle: 11.52 seconds

Film Room:

Scouting Report:

Strengths:

  • A tackling machine in college
  • Smaller but compact and powerful build
  • Had over 120 tackles in each of the past three seasons
  • Strong player despite being a tad under-sized
  • Great football IQ and intelligent off the field(Academic All-Big Ten honors four years)
  • Top notch instincts
  • Good read and react skills
  • Just has a nose for the ball
  • Productive in coverage(6 career Ints and 26 career PD’s)
  • High motor
  • Strong hands and a consistent and powerful tackler
  • Technically sound like most Iowa players
  • Three-year team captain at Iowa
  • Reliable and rarely left the field
  • Not to be cliche but a blue collar, intelligent, high motor player who you can trust

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks the athleticism you’re looking for in a “new-age linebacker”
  • Stiff and lacks fluid movement skills
  • Can get eaten up by interior offensive lineman
  • I worry that his lack of athleticism will hurt him in coverage
  • Might only be a two-down player

Quotable:

NFLDraftScout’s Dane Brugler’s overview of Josey Jewell from his draft guide

A three-year starter at Iowa, Jewell quickly established as a leader of the defense from his MIKE linebacker position, posting 120+ tackles each of the last three seasons as an every-down player for the Hawkeyes. He isn’t a quick-twitch, explosive athlete, but he is balanced in space with above average processing speed to diagnose and react in a flash.

The first three-time team captain in Iowa history, Jewell is an assignment sound veteran and has a lot of Sean Lee to his game with the intangibles and impact he brings to the football field. Although he won’t test off the charts athletically, Jewell has the competitive make-up and football instincts to play in the NFL for the next decade, projecting as a starter.

Josey Jewell’s spider graph:

Does Josey Jewell make sense for the Denver Broncos in the mid-rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft?

It is hard not to like Josey Jewell. He’s a high motor tackling machine with great instincts. He would be a great addition to any defense, but is he what the Broncos are looking for? It appears they’re looking for more athletic cover guys and that is not what Jewell is. His instincts help him a ton in coverage but will that continue in the NFL? That’s the question.

Jewell’s floor is likely a dependable two-down run stuffing linebacker which isn’t a bad thing. The Broncos need depth behind Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis and neither is a lock to stick on the roster past this year, so Jewell can help out there. The big question is if he can be a three-down linebacker?

His tape is great, but potential top 10 pick running back Saquon Barkley made Jewell look silly in coverage last season. Now, Barkley did that to a lot of players, but that sort of talent is in the NFL. So I have some concerns there.

I wouldn’t take Jewell on day two of the draft because of this. If he is still there in the early fourth and you haven’t addressed the inside linebacker position then go for it.

I like Jewell, I just think he’s playing in the wrong generation. 10 or so years ago he would be a solid inside linebacker prospect. Today we question if he is a scheme fit or not. I did have the same concerns about Chris Borland who turned into a solid linebacker before retiring because of concussion issues, so hopefully, he proves me wrong.