Curtis Jacobs Aiming To Carry Consistency & Flexibility To Next Level

After four seasons in Happy Valley, former Penn State football linebacker Curtis Jacobs is searching to hear his name called in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Jacobs has been a mainstay in the Nittany Lion defense, appearing in 45 games over the last four seasons. After a quiet true freshman season in 2020, the four-star prospect out of Maryland made a big second-year jump when he started 11 out of 12 games and totaled 48 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks, and an interception.

In his third year, Jacobs received All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors from coaches and media after another productive year, in which he tallied 39 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, two fumble recoveries, and an interception.

This past season, Jacobs logged 451 total snaps for the Nittany Lions and helped anchor the front seven from his linebacker position. He finished the 2023 season with 36 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, and two fumble recoveries.

After declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft in December, Jacobs earned an invite to the Shrine Bowl, where he started his pre-draft process in the weeklong college all-star game intended for NFL scouts and personnel to get a look at under-the-radar prospects.

Jacobs then ran a respectable 4.58 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in March but was unable to show off his change of direction capabilities in the three-cone and 20-yard shuttle drills. Instead, he opted to do those two drills at Pro Day in Happy Valley and seemed content with the results.

“I feel good about the numbers I put down,” Jacobs said after his workout.

In the interview, Jacobs also highlighted his versatility and how playing all three linebacker spots during his time in Happy Valley can help him at the next level.

“The tape speaks for itself,” he said.” If they ask me to play a position, I’m gonna give it my all.”

Jacobs’ consistent production over the last three years should buy him a shot in the NFL, though he likely won’t hear his name called in the draft until the later rounds.

“Jacobs has good size and play strength but offers average range as a tackler,” draft analyst Lance Zierlein said. “Jacobs can fit run gaps and make plays that are in front of him, but he doesn’t show consistent enough field awareness to expect he’ll make plays on all three downs.”

Multiple teams need to upgrade their linebacker depth like the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, and Dallas Cowboys, the latter of which Jacobs formally met with at the NFL Combine. As a projected day-three pick, a role on special teams where he can utilize his strength and explosiveness is likely where Jacobs will start his NFL journey.

While his processing and anticipation need to further develop in order to obtain significant snaps at the linebacker position in the NFL, Jacobs brings consistent effort and a quick yet powerful downhill presence that teams will highly covet.

The NFL Draft will begin with its first round on Thursday, April 25, with the later rounds continuing through April 27. It’ll be televised on ESPN and NFL Network.

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About the Author

Cadyn Gill

Cadyn is a freshman journalism major at Penn State. Hailing from the great state of Texas, he is a die hard Dallas sports fan. You'll often see him voicing his complaints about the Cowboys play calling on Twitter @cgill214.

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