Player Name: Jalen Jelks
H/W: 6’5 250
School / Class: Oregon / Senior
Measureables: 4.92 40, 32.5” vertical, 9’4” broad, 7.22 3 cone drill, 19 bench press
Drafted to: Dallas Cowboys
2018 vs Washington (#97)
- Arsenal - He has a bevy of pass rush and counter moves in his toolkit, although some of them are unrefined and need development at the next level. Very adept at moving in between strength and speed to throw off tackles.
- Athleticism - He has a good initial burst off the line on most occasions. Can fly off the edge if he times it right. Lateral agility is above average as well. Tracks back with great effort even if he’s blocked on the other side of the field. His Combine 40 was poor, though the on field workouts were good. Interesting dynamic there.
- Effort - Cue the Bart Simpson cake meme. At least he puts forth an effort on a consistent basis to get up the field and make the play. Motor is constantly running, albeit misguided at times. I’d rather have a dude that tries hard but makes coachable errors than a dude who barely registers an effort.
- Versatility - Position and scheme versatile as he lined up at end and tackle and brief dosages of stand up outside linebacker. Can be used anywhere on the field in the front seven.
- Run defense - Not much to work with here. Gets lost in the wash quite frequently. Lacks strength to disengage from blockers.
- Strength - Just doesn’t have enough strength to hold the edge or get off blocks. I’ve watched him get swallowed up into a black hole and not exist on certain plays. He lacks the strength to be an every down pass rusher right now.
- Arsenal - While he does have a variety of moves to beat the blocker in pass rush situations, each move isn’t fully developed where they should be. Needs further refinement to fully realize his potential.
- Frame - Needs a S&C program to get together. Lanky frame allows him to get beat by stronger blockers.
How he fits the Dallas Cowboys
He will likely compete for a practice squad spot as the EDGE room is quite stacked with the franchise Demarcus Lawrence and recent first round pick Taco Charlton headlining the group. At his best, Jelks can compete for third or fourth edge rusher off the board. At his worst, he’ll likely get cut. Jelks will likely sneak onto the roster due to his versatility but he needs serious development on a team expected to compete for championships on a closing window. On the bright side, he has one of the best defensive line coaches in the NFL with Rod Marinelli teaching him. He also can learn from Lawrence as well. He’ll get a lot of valuable offseason reps with the bigger name defensive linemen out due to injury or other reasons.
Jelks getting the call from the Cowboys
Secret Audio— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) April 27, 2019
Listen to the exclusive audio from the eighth and final phone call of this year's #NFLDraft with DE @JalenJelks as he finds out that he's becoming a Cowboy. #CowboysDraft pic.twitter.com/10R5C0BZeW
Jelks getting an NFL icon to study to improve his game
Rod Marinelli assigned each rookie an NFL legend to study. Jalen Jelks was given Chris Doleman. Jelks: "That guy bends the corner crazy. His work ethic and drive and endurance was incredible. And that's what (Rod) wants to instill in us. Hopefully I get to play like him one day."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 16, 2019
Jelks on adjusting to NFL rookie life