NAME: Jalen Jelks
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 97
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 245 lbs
PROS: Wicked quick. When asked to slant or when lined up in a penetrating role, will immediately win off the snap and disrupt the backfield within the first three steps of the play. Quickness as if not more deadly on two-way go pass-rush reps; loves to pair an inside swat/arm over move with a quick flip of his hips to generate rush angle to the quarterback. Packs a lot of power, especially in lower half, and can create rolling displacement on bull rush reps. Plays with hands over his eyes pretty regularly, with some impressive reps of low leverage given naturally upright build. Uses length well in both run and pass game and has the upper body power to stiff-arm and bench offensive linemen.
Marriage of quickness and length make him a fiend in the running game. Penetrates zone flow easily with initial explosiveness and fluid hips; able to make ridiculous tackles with massive radius. Difficult to fold/trap with good recognition and low play leverage. Generally a smart player who knows when to forgo the pass rush for the sake of a PBU, of which he has several. Blistering hustle player who gets involved in pursuit plays he has no business making. Long speed shocking for defensive lineman.
CONS: Unschooled in the finer points of EDGE play. Throws a cross chop without timing or consistent location, often striking the upper shoulder too early in the rep. Generally tries to play too far outside of offensive linemen’s cylinders, thereby converting sacks into pressures that just miss. Ability to rush at an angle with tilt present, but spotty on tape–both opportunity and success rate are low. Has a flexible frame evident in run defense but has not yet integrated dropping his shoulder and planting his foot to corner into his rush arsenal. He’s not incapable; he just needs work.
Gangly frame will betray him on double teams, though he occasionally drops anchor and splits. He can jump at shadows in the backfield looking to make a play, but you can hardly fault him for that, given the disruption he does create.
– Benjamin Solak