First Step Quickness –He has a fair release off of the football but his general burst doesn't really overwhelm offensive tackles off of the edge. He accelerates with long strides and ability to open up around the edge is where he's able to gain some ground and beat sets.
Hand Technique/Length –His placement is pretty shoddy, he's often wide and late with his hand strikes, which allow offensive linemen to set their hands cleanly onto his chest. His extension skills are poor due to upper body strength and he's whitewashed as soon as the hook is set.
Pass Rush Counters –He has a poor habit of stopping his feet when his up-field charge is initially countered. Doesn't really offer pop through his hands or the precision to be able to create separation for himself. His usage has robbed him of a chance to really develop here.
Flexibility –He does not showcase a lot of tilt or ability to drop his pad level off the edge and get himself under the pads of his blockers. Struggles to turn tight corners because he doesn't have the necessary mobility to catch the feet on steep angles.
Run Defending –Plays the point of attack too soft, in part due to lean frame and in part due to poor separation skills to get himself stacked and gain control of the blocker. His hand shedding techniques lacks the power needed to quickly shed hands off his chest and get into pursuit.
Competitive Toughness –He gets stuck onto blocks with too little of resistance. He's pretty narrow framed and functional strength isn't an asset that he can lean on with any level of consistency at this point. Effort and hustle to work back down the field are positives that flash.
Tackling –Lengthy tackle radius will offer some bonus challenges along the LOS but generally speaking he doesn't have explosive burst to close down or overwhelming power/strength to wrap with authority. His mobility offers him the chance to mirror and extend a head up scenario.
Lateral Mobility –He's pretty fluid to cross face of blockers as a slashing defensive lineman or as a crash down defense. His ability to collect himself is admirable, particularly for a player with his size, length and step width. Can be slippery and shows some good range through gaps to redirect.
Stand Up Ability –He has played stand-up before and with his frame and functional strength it will be optimal to his projection to place him here with regularity. Doesn't have any notable experience working as a stand-up cover linebacker and his role is best suited slashing forward.
Football IQ –His versatility played well at Oregon but realistically it did him a disservice as a pro prospect, given the necessary jumps he now needs to make regarding his pass rush plan, his play at the point the point of attack and his consistency with his hand strikes.
BEST TRAIT – Lateral Mobility
WORST TRAIT – Pass Rush Counters
BEST FILM – Stanford (2018)
WORST FILM – Washington State (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Jalen Jelks presents as a difficult study, considering his play usage put him in a lot of undesirable looks as an interior lineman. Jelks has requisite length to be a factor on the outside and provides enough range and mobility, but his general lack of shedding techniques and counters pose legitimate threats to him being able to transition successfully to a stand-up role as an outside linebacker off the edge. He will need to add mass as well.
ROUND GRADE: Seventh Round