Photo of Jalen Reeves-Maybin
Drafted By: Lions

Combine Results

Grade
5.36 ?

Draft Analysis:

Linebacker was arguably the Lion's biggest need entering the draft. They added Jarrad Davis in the first and now add another speedy playmaker in Reeves-Maybin. His tape, when healthy, is much better than this draft slot. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'0" Height
  • 32 1/4" Arm Length
  • 230LBS. Weight
  • 9 5/8" Hands

Overview

Jalen's father, Marques Maybin, was a basketball player at Louisville but was paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident when Jalen was eight years old. Reeves-Maybin was a four-star linebacker recruit from Tennessee (2,000-plus rushing yards, all-state as a defender), and contributed as a true freshman as a reserve in 11 games (14 tackles, 11 on special teams). He stepped up to lead the Volunteers in tackles at weak-side linebacker as both a sophomore (101 tackles, 11 for loss, two sacks) and junior (105 tackles, 14 for loss, six sacks, four pass breakups). Reeves-Maybin's senior year, however, was a struggle. He was ejected for targeting in the season opener and then missed the bulk of the season with a shoulder injury, finishing with 20 tackles, two for loss. He considered redshirting to return to Knoxville in 2017 but decided to go to the NFL instead.

Analysis

Strengths

Early responder after the snap. Loves to play downhill and is always headed in that direction when necessary. Will not hesitate to take a chance and shoot a gap. Uniquely instinctive. Will rarely get trapped too far downhill that he can't bounce out of the side door to chase when needed. Plays square and shifts and shuffles to his run fits. Easy, fluid chaser with desired flexibility in lower body for sudden change of direction. Runs well and can chase in coverage. Has burst to ball carrier as tackler. Can spring quickly into action with bounce and explosion as lateral tackler from one gap to the next. Has coverage talent. Outstanding eyes. Somehow manages to find ball carrier through all the visual trash. Stalks with patience and calm. Productive special-teams tackler.

Weaknesses

Lacks size and pop to stop runners in their tracks and often takes brunt of initial impact. Needs to run feet through impact to prevent sliding off his tackles. Forced to give away gap leverage to avoid being devoured by big, climbing linemen in run game. Scouts say he appears to have lost functional weight while injured. Was lost for season after first four games due to injury and subsequent surgery to shoulder. Injury history with shoulder is a substantial concern.

Draft Projection

Round 6-7

Sources Tell Us

"He can play MIKE or WILL in a Tampa 2, and he has really good cover talent. You love his production but he's got those narrow shoulders and his frame is maxed out. Really productive, but that shoulder injury could drop him quite a bit." -- Personnel executive with NFC team

Bottom Line

My preseason grade on Reeves-Maybin was a 5.66, but he has very little wiggle room for medical concerns considering his lack of size. In a vacuum, he has the instincts, athletic ability and cover talent of a starting, three-down linebacker. If he regains full health he could be a steal, but he might need another year of rehab work and working with strength coaches to bulk up to NFL standards.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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