Rankings

Player Display Name: 
Leighton Vander Esch

Inside LineBacker
School: Boise State | Conference: M-WEST
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-4 / 255 | 40: 4.65 | DRAFT YR:2018

Rankings

Grade
4.53
Projected Round
1st
Bio: 
First-year starter who was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and led Boise State with 141 tackles (8.5 for loss) and four forced fumbles, matched the team lead with three interceptions and posted four sacks and four pass breakups as a junior. Was limited to six games in 2016 due to injury and recorded 27 tackles (3.5 for loss), one sack and one interception. Made 20 tackles and broke up one pass as a redshirt freshman.
Pos: 
First-year starter who has flown up draft boards. Smooth, explosive athlete who has the ability to make plays in any direction. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands and displays good change of direction. Fast laterally, quickly gets to the action and plays physical, aggressive football. Gets depth on pass drops, covers a tremendous amount of area on the field and shows instincts. Fluid, shows no stiffness moving about the field and quickly scrapes laterally. Fires upfield to fill gaps in run defense, wraps up tackling and attacks assignments. Remains disciplined in coverage and quickly gets to the action.
Neg: 
Inefficient and takes too many steps to the action. Marginally effective on the blitz to this point.
Analysis: 
Vander Esch made the most of his opportunity this season once he moved into the starting lineup and now heads towards the draft as a first-round prospect. He’s a three-down linebacker who shows tremendous ability in space, and he will be a long-time starter at the next level once he completes his game.