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LB — Leighton Vander Esch 7.32

Scouting-Cody Manning

College: Boise St.

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 240 lbs

40-Time: 4.65

Bench Press: 20

Vertical: 39.5"

Athleticism: 7.58

Q.A.B. / C.O.D. 8.00 He uses his agility to his advantage to help maneuver around lineman to make the tackle.  Flexibility 8.00 He can be difficult to bring down on low-blocks, keeps a nice balance and can pop back up.  Explosiveness 7.50 Once he see where he wants to go he does a nice job at exploding through his gap or the runner.  Playing Speed 7.00 While he is athletic, there are times where he plays fast in the box, but not sideline to sideline.  Coordination 8.00 He is a former basketball player, his coordination shows on the field, he can stay on his feet well.  Position Versatility 7.00 He is better suited as a MLB, shouldn’t be trusted as a pass rusher at the moment.

Pass Rush Ability 6.25

Initial Quickness 8.00 He has a great first burst but he leans on it too much. He knows he can get their quick, and bets on it  Rush with Leverage 5.00 He will just run into the blocker, he gets stood up, or will drive to just push them back, not effective.  Pass Rush Moves 5.00 He needs to develop pass rush moves to use his athletic ability to his advantage. Too stiff.  Pressure Consistency 7.00 He will get pressure throughout the game because of quickness, but runs into blockers too much.

Coverage Awareness 7.75

Pass Drops 7.50 He does a great job at sliding back into his coverage, keeps everything in front of him.  Coverage Awareness 8.00 He showed that he understands his assignment, keeps zone covered, aware of where he is needed.  M/M Coverage 7.50 Did a nice job at turning his hips and running with there receiver. He can keep up with most of them.  Zone Coverage 8.00 He excelled in zone coverage, seemed comfortable in it, athletic enough to cover his area.

Against The Run 7.00

Play with Leverage 7.00 He would come into high at times, he would pay for it, when he used leverage, he would make a play.  Stack and Shed 7.00 When he would make a quick move he would win, but also got locked on and driven away.  Run at Him 7.00 He would take himself out of a play sometimes by overrunning his assignment, made easy for blocker.  Runs Away 6.50 Struggled to close space versus fast runners, great inside box, but not sideline to sideline.  Tackling/Hitting 7.50 He has a great form, will lock on and bring them to the ground. Did let some guys break sometimes.

Competitiveness 7.83

Toughness 7.00 He would show some toughness, but avoided blocks at times, wouldn’t run through WRs for a tackle.  Production 8.50 Highly productive tackler (141) 4 sacks, 4 pass breakups, 4 forced fumbles.  Consistency/Motor 8.00 He did bring his best every play, just would slow down if he knew he couldn’t make the play.

Intelligence: 7.50

Instincts 7.00 It appeared he wouldn’t react to plays, he would just go to his assignment, then look to make the play  Learn/Retain 8.00 Based on tape, it showed that he understands his role/assignment, he didn’t look out of place.  Concentration 7.50 He does a nice job at reading the quarterback and knowing where he will go with the ball.


He is very athletic, he uses his speed to his advantage, while combining his lateral quickness, to maneuver around lineman to make a play on the runner. He is an effective tackler, he has great form, will wrap up, and bring them to the ground. He excels in zone coverage, keeps everything in front of him, he understands his zone, and can cover it because of his athleticism. He can play man to man coverage, does a great job at turning his hips so he can run with the receiver.


He needs to show more toughness or lineman may have their way with him at the next level. He depends on his athletic abilities too much. He will get locked on and driven away by strong lineman. He comes into high at times, which makes it easier for the lineman. He also takes himself out of plays at times by overrunning his assignment. I believe he is great inside the box, but he struggles when it gets outside the hashes, can take a bad angle, or will struggle to close any ground on fast runners.


He has the size and athletic ability that will allow him to play at the next level. I believe he should be given time to develop. In year one, he would be suited to come in a small role for the defense, and a key contributor on special teams. He is great in coverage, and could be depended on during passing situations. He was highly productive, and knows how to get himself in position to make a play. He just needs to develop skills with his hands so he can take on blockers, and not try to go around them. This also would help him develop as a pass rusher, he runs into blockers too much, and will get stood up. He was a great initial burst which allows him to be in the right position but if his speed didn’t get him by the blocker then he will give up too easily. His athletic ability shows that he can develop into a tackling machine, but if he doesn’t develop then he could be just an effective backup/special teamer. I would wait until the 3rd-4th round to pick him, 2nd round if teams wants to bet on his potential.

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