2. Leighton Vander Esch LB, Boise State
I get the love for Smith and Edmunds in this draft class, but the fact that LVE is getting overlooked is insane.
He was one of the best testing linebackers at the combine and his game against Oregon was one of the best games any prospect played this year. Some will point to his lack of starts as a negative, but honestly if you go back and watch Edmunds and Smith last year, it isn’t exactly like they were the second coming of Luke Keuchly.
Look at this quote from this Justin Melo interview and tell me he doesn’t sound like a Jon Robinson/Mike Vrabel fever dream:
” JM: What kind of player is Leighton Vander Esch gonna be in the NFL?
LVE: I’m gonna be someone who’s confident, and puts in the work every single day to make sure I benefit everyone around me. The team comes first. I’ve never put myself before the team. I love playing football, and I look forward to every single chance I get to go out there and showcase myself. I’m going to live around the football. I’m gonna prepare myself every week to get the job done.”