SUMMARY: A two-star linebacker recruit out of high school, Quentin Poling recorded 500+ tackles and nine interceptions at Elida, also earning letters in track and wrestling. He became a starter from the get-go at Ohio, developing into the quarterback of the defense. A two-time team captain, he was named First Team All-MAC his junior and senior seasons and finished his career with the school-record for solo tackles and tackles for loss. Poling, who lives in the film room, has outstanding backfield vision with a quick trigger to diagnose and pursue. He is an active blitzer with the hand strength to work off contact and footwork to sidestep blockers, flashing a finishing burst. Poling sniffs out passing lanes, but he doesn’t have the redirection skills to make up for a misstep. Overall, Poling doesn’t have ideal size, speed or fluidity for the next level, but he is a tackling machine with the toughness and temperament that will earn him respect in a NFL training camp.
Boasts an imposing frame for a wide receiver with ideal height, broad shoulders, long and well-defined arms and a tapered midsection. Quick enough off the ball to gain a clean release against press coverage, showing lateral agility and quick hands to slip free. Accelerates smoothly, generating enough build-up speed to be an effective deep threat. Developing route-runner who flashes suddenness out of his lateral cuts and drives hard back towards his quarterback on comebacks. At his best winning contested passes due to his size, core strength and hand-eye coordination... Extends his arms toward the ball and shows the hand strength and concentration to pluck it away from his frame with defenders draped over him. Impressive body control for a receiver of his size, contorting in the air and spinning away from contact to protect the ball. Good strength to break tackles off the catch and pick up additional yardage. Physical and aggressive downfield blocker who looks to help teammates... -- Rob Rang 12/26/2017
A one-speed runner who may struggle to generate separation against NFL-caliber cornerbacks. Shows normal acceleration but very little explosiveness out of his breaks or in his release. Was caught from behind on tape... Was not asked to run the full route tree in this offense, often resorting to fairly simple vertical routes, deep outs posts, post-corners and comebacks. Rounds off too many sideline routes, showing better timing with his quarterback rather than explosiveness out of his breaks - something which will take time to duplicate in the NFL. Does not maximize his height, leaping ability and length advantage, needing to do a better job of truly high-pointing passes. Competitive to break tackles after the catch but is not as powerful as his size suggests. - Rob Rang 12/26/2017
COMPARES TO: Eric Decker, Titans. Decker has become one of the NFL's better red zone targets, averaging just under seven touchdowns a year over his first eight seasons. While very effective in this area and a physical downfield blocker, his lack of ideal straight-line speed and burst out of his breaks leave Decker as more of a complementary perimeter threat rather than a true superstar - perhaps among the reasons why he's bounced from the Broncos to the Jets to the Titans.
IN OUR VIEW: Ateman lacks ideal suddenness out of his breaks and straight-line speed to be a fit for everyone but teams looking for a power forward who can physically overwhelm smaller cornerbacks with size, leaping ability and catch radius will certainly take a close look. Ideally, he would be drafted to a team which already has an established pass-catcher on one side, allowing Ateman the opportunity to remain in the complementary, big play role.
STRENGTHS: Athletic frame with shredded muscle definition and NFL length…highly physical and looks to go through blockers…aims for the breast plate and lands his reach before blockers can react, driving them backwards…uses his natural bend and body control to extend and work off contact…builds up speed as an outside rush threat…comfortable on his feet in space, smoothly redirecting to chase…natural feel for spacing and should continue to improve in coverage…competes with a fire in his belly…graduated with a degree in personal finance (Dec. 2017)…considered a “freak” in the weight room, according to his teammates…set the Wisconsin record for career games played (59)…productive senior season, finishing among the team leaders in tackles, tackles for loss and interceptions – also added a 21-yard scoop-and-score fumble recovery vs. Iowa in 2017.
WEAKNESSES: Predictable pass rush plan…ineffective spin move and lacks diversity with his bag of tricks…unreliable with contain responsibilities and late to anticipate the action…undeveloped play instincts…inconsistent pursuit angles…needs to clean up his strike zone as a tackler, slipping off his target…streaky finisher on the move, especially in the backfield (only 3.5 sacks in 2017)…grabby and caught holding in coverage – much more comfortable moving forward than in reverse…shuffled around the depth chart and lacks ideal experience entering the NFL – basketball player “at heart” and didn’t pick up football until his senior season in high school…missed most of the 2015 season with a dislocated right big toe (Sept. 2015), requiring surgery.
SUMMARY: A one-year starter at Wisconsin, Jacobs, who wore “Jacobs-Nwude” on the back of his jersey, blossomed as a senior outside linebacker in Wisconsin’s 3-4 base scheme, standing up and rushing off the edge. After bouncing between positions at inside linebacker and fullback as an underclassman, he found a home at outside linebacker in 2017, taking over for the departed T.J. Watt. With his hoops background, Jacobs is a balanced athlete on his feet and competes with a physical edge, relying on leverage, reach and motor as the main recipe for his pass rush. He doesn’t have poor awareness, but he is mentally undeveloped and needs more reps as a rusher, run defender and cover man. Overall, Jacobs is still in the development phase and there are “fit” concerns, but he is an ascending player with the effort and physical attitude to grow into a starting outside pass rush role in a 3-4 or SAM linebacker in a 4-3.