The Positive Traits
Leighton Vander Esch has great size for an NFL linebacker. Standing at 6’4″ 240 pounds, he has a solid frame to withstand the middle linebacker life at the highest level of football.
Vander Esch is a tackle machine shown by his 2017 season in which he played all 14 games for the Broncos. He tallied 91 solo tackles and added 50 assists to bring his total to 141.
His tape shows why he is such a good tackler and that is the way he keeps himself square to the line of scrimmage. He is able to diagnose and attack plays while seeing the entire field.
Staying square to the line of scrimmage also allows him to see the field. He is not blazing fast but he has the speed to cover the field sideline to sideline.
His coverage ability is one of the best in this year’s crop. He had two interceptions and five passes defensed in his junior season.
Vander Esch has a sure form in his tackling which results in very few whiffs and misses. He brings the ball-carrier down to the ground a lot more often than not.
Because he was only a one year, full-time starter, his ability is just beginning to be tapped. He is raw, as are most rookies, but he has starting ability written all over him though he may start out on special teams.