2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: LB Jake Hansen

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Jake Hansen leaves the Illinois program as one of the more accomplished defenders in recent history. With 10 forced fumbles, Hansen sits tied for third on the all-time list and his 26.0 tackles for loss is a testament to his slipperiness in shooting gaps. Hansen offers adequate size to play on the B-level in the NFL, but his projection won’t be as filled with the opportunities he’s been afforded with the Illini. Hansen isn’t a power player but his mobility in space leaves room for missed assignments and his athleticism will test his ability to fill an every-down role. Hansen is at his best working scrape exchanges along the perimeter and twisting into inside gaps and shooting to the mesh point, so a stack linebacker role is more favorable if he’s not charged with playing in the middle and tasking him with filtering through blocks and trash climbing into his lap. Hansen should have a viable chance to stick on special teams but his ceiling as a defender feels like a rotational player. He also missed all of 2017 with a significant knee injury and missed the final 4 games in 2019 with another injury, so durability will be a question that needs to be answered. 

Ideal Role: Rotational linebacker with core special teams opportunities.

Scheme Fit: 4-3 WILL LB.

Written by Kyle Crabbs

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Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Founder and Director of Scouting

Kyle Crabbs is the Founder and Director of Scouting for The Draft Network. Prior to his time with TDN, Kyle worked for seven years as the founder of his own third-party scouting service, NDT Scouting. Providing media coverage and also consultation services for agencies, Crabbs penned an annual NFL Draft Prospectus featuring 300+ player profiles on an annual basis from 2014-2020. Crabbs is currently the co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast with fellow TDN scout Joe Marino and helps coordinate TDN's national scouting effort.

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