- Tackles: 136
- Sacks: 4.5
- Tackles For Loss: 13.5
- Forced Fumbles:1
- Interceptions: 2
- Broken Up Passes: 11
Playing the Run
Jewell was one of the bigger linebackers in this draft class. I feel like he has the size to go toe-to-toe with NFL guards and tackles. His biggest strength is playing the run. After watching numerous tapes on his run defense, I saw Jewell hold his own and shut down run after run. He really can put his nose in the gap and close it down. This is key for any linebacker playing in a 3-4. When looking at Pettine’s scheme, inside linebackers can sometimes be asked to cover several gaps. In 4 man fronts in the nickel situation the strong side linebacker will be asked to usually play the playside A-C gap, so linebackers need to cover some ground. I felt like Jewell did a solid job of this in his time at Iowa.
He was very patient when playing the run and rarely did I see him over run a play. That is exactly how an inside linebacker should play the run. A lot of teams now in the NFL make the outside zone run a staple in their offenses. Jewell saw a lot of this playing in the Big 10 against spread offenses like Ohio State, Northwestern and Indiana. He also played very well against pro-style offenses in the Big 10 like Minnesota and Wisconsin. I think he got a good taste of some offensive sets that he will see at the professional level.
Jewell looked decent in coverage in his senior year at Iowa. They played a lot of cover 3 this last season, which was a base coverage for Pettine during his time at New York and Buffalo. The thing about cover 3 is that the inside linebackers really need to push hard to the #2 or #3 receivers and play the hook/curl zone. Jewell showed that he had pretty good drops. When I say “drops” I mean that he opened the hips well, sprinted to his zone, settled and found the receiver in his underneath zone. He would reroute any crossers and throw off the timing of routes, making things difficult on quarterbacks. When it came to pursuit to the football and angles, Jewell didn’t disappoint. In the era of spread offenses and throwing the ball, he often saw a lot of quick screens and bubble screens. When these passes were thrown he would take a flat, straight angle to the receiver and finish off a tackle.
He had very good footwork and avoided blocks from the slot receiver or tight end when these screens happened. When the slot receiver was looking to crack block on him, he would rip clean under the block and find the ball. His quickness really helped here and sometimes he would get there untouched. When it came to man coverage, he looked good when matched up 1 on 1 with a running back or tight end. He was solid in locking down tight ends and made it difficult for them to release off of the line of scrimmage. Against backs, he would take a slight angle downhill and make it to the back in order to take away swing routes.
Jewell had some questionable reads at times on a back or offensive lineman. While he could recover well, sometimes he would read a play wrong and end up being out of position. One of the most important parts of a linebacker to train is the eyes. All linebackers must be disciplined and keep the eyes locked on their read in order to get to the play quicker. I think this can be fixed easily.
Jewell played the run very well and was a physical linebacker, but I would like to see more from the first initial contact. This is critical as it usually determines who wins the battle between the defensive player or offensive player. I felt like he needs to work on shedding blocks and get the hands more involved when locking on with lineman. I think he has the physical size to match up with professional offensive lines but I also feel like he could be dominant if he gets these small things down.
My projection is that Jewell will go somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd round. He has a lot of great qualities as I mentioned and he definitely is an inside linebacker to keep your eye on.
Check out some of Jewell’s games from his senior year at Iowa: