Ht – 6’1”          Wt – 230lb      Class – JR         Age – 21

Career Statistics

2021 Stats – 115 Tackles, 18.5 TFL, 8 Sacks, 0 INT, 0 PD, 2 FF (11 Games Played)
Career Stats – 178 Tackles, 25.5 TFL, 11 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 PD, 3 FF (25 Games Played)

Attribute Breakdown

Tackling – Extraordinary tackler. A few ball carriers slipped out of his grasp, but most of the time, when he wraps up it’s over. He also has an elite ability to tackle away from his body in the opposite direction. He can dive away from his momentum and still complete the tackle.

Physicality – Chenal is undoubtedly one of the most physical Linebackers in this class. HE plays with tenacity and constant effort, and he is a wrecking ball when he gets rolling.

Block Shedding – It’s unclear if Chenal is an elite block shedder or he was just poorly blocked, but he got past blockers constantly. On the second level, it was impossible to stop him, he consistently bulldozed right through blocks.

Blitzing – As a blitzer, Chenal couldn’t be contained. It didn’t seem as though he possessed a large variety of pass-rush moves, but he was constantly in the backfield. Regardless of being blocked or unblocked, Chenal always found a way to the QB. His explosion through gaps and ability to get skinny makes him a pass-rush weapon. However, as mentioned, he will need to improve his arsenal to become a consistent pass-rusher on the next level.

Football IQ – WOW. Chenal always knows where to be. His instincts are phenomenal, and he often burst towards a spot before it was even clear he needed to be there, and he was never wrong. He has an upper echelon understanding of the game.

Range & Speed – His football IQ helps, but he isn’t very rangy. His lack of true top-end play speed holds him back from being a sideline-to-sideline defender. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a formidable force who can take away the whole middle of the field, but I wouldn’t rely on him to chase down plays outside the hashes.

Man Coverage – Not ideal. Chenal keeps his eyes in the backfield, whether it’s to pursue ball carriers or to track the QB’s eyes. This helps him a lot in zone coverage but is his downfall in man. He doesn’t have the mirroring ability or twitchy quickness to stick with athletic receiving options, and he can’t take his eyes off the QB, causing him to lose receivers easily.

Zone Coverage – In this, however, he is a natural. His feel for crossing routes and receivers in his zone is outstanding, and he shifts and bounces laterally with precision, keeping defenders perfectly covered while they are in his zone. His ability to track the QB’s eyes makes him even better at this.

Combine – Chenal had exactly the Combine most of us expected. Running only a 4.73 40, he isn’t very fast. On the other hand, he had the highest Vertical Jump (40.5”) of all Linebackers and was close to the top in Broad Jump (10’6”). He is an explosive and powerful athlete, but he lacks speed.

Leo Chenal is a great athlete, and he was electric with the ball in his hands

Overall

Leo Chenal is part of a very deep and talented Linebacker class, but in a few ways, he set himself apart. He isn’t at the top, like Devin Lloyd or Nakobe Dean, but he has some traits that are rare in this class.
As a truly cerebral player, Leo Chenal is a master of the game. He has a great feel and outstanding instincts to give him an edge. Combine that with his excellent field vision, his top-end physicality, and his tackling prowess, he is a stud. He is excellent in zone coverage and could excel in a zone-heavy/blitz-heavy scheme.
His man coverage and speed are concerning, but these aren’t necessary traits to be elite at as a Linebacker. Speed can be compensated for with football IQ, always getting a head start. Man coverage is scheme-dependent and could be a non-factor in Chenal’s game.
Chenal even has experience as a QB spy, and he did that very well. In his final game (vs Arizona State), Jayden Daniels put the moves on him constantly, but let’s be honest, he put the moves on everyone. I still feel the Chenal could be a great QB spy against nearly all mobile QBs.
His scheme dependency could drop him down some draft boards, but in the right scheme, Chenal could be a Pro-Bowl-level talent right off the bat.

See Leo Chenal’s overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.


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Uriel "Yuke" Klein

Die-hard Ravens + Lakers fan, wild sports fan to the core LeBron > MJ I will debate any topic with anyone, come at me

1 Comment

    I believe Leo Chanel was the 3rd most athletic linebacker to ever test out at the combine. He ran a 4.52 40yd dash. His RAS was 9.99. His speed, agility and explosion grades were either Elite or Great. He is a top talent and reminds me of Luke Kuechly.

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