How Did BSU’s Leighton Vander Esch Do at The NFL Scouting Combine?
He's the pride of Idaho, a walk at BSU from an 8 man football team from the small town of Riggins Idaho, population 406. Four years ago this past Saturday he was busy winning a State Tournament against my old high school team (Nezperce Indians) and this past Saturday he was busy trying to earn himself millions of dollars as a top NFL draft pick. How did he do?
First of all, I was shocked that he weighed 256 pounds....that's a big linebacker and more importantly 16 pounds more than he weighed at the end of his BSU season.
Draft experts say he has the height weight and skills that you only see about once a decade in linebackers. Leighton is 6'4
According to NFL.com he had 20 bench reps, which is not great, but expected, because of his long arms and guys with long arms usually don’t do well in the bench.
He also didn’t light up the radar in the 40 yard dash…running it at 4.65. Draft expert Mike Mayock said that if he hit 4.65 or faster in the 40, he’d cement his status as a first round draft pick….so let’s check that one off the list.
It was the on-field testing and personal interviews where Vander Esch reportedly really stood out.
He even elicited a few Brian Urlacher comparisons…..Urlacher is considered one of the best linebackers to play in the last few decades and is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame….only time will tell if Leighton can be anywhere near that good.
CBS Sports says that Vnader Esch "crushed the combine workouts" further adding: "The former Boise State star took full advantage of Tremaine Edmunds, his main, similarly-sized competition, sitting out the majority of the measured drills. Vander Esch ran 4.65 at slightly over 6-4 and 256 pounds. He proceeded to crush the rest of his workout. He had a 39.5-inch vertical, a 10-foot-4 broad, and a superbly quick time of 6.88 in the three-cone drill. His 4.15 in the short shuttle was an awesome time too. He can now be classified as a combine freak."
According to OBNUG.com here is where Vander Esch stacked up against the 40 plus linebackers who are also hoping to get drafted this year:
20-yard shuttle: Tied for 2nd (4.15 seconds)
60-yard shuttle: Tied for 2nd (11.57 seconds)
Vertical jump: Tied for 2nd (39.5 inches)
Broad jump: Top 5 (10’4”)
3-cone drill: Top 5 (6.88 seconds)
Most all draft experts now say Vander Esch has worked his way into a first day pick in the NFL draft in April…at the very least an early pick in the 2nd round on day two…either way the pride of Salmon River High School in Riggins looks like he might just become Idaho’s newest Multi-millionaire