It’s not often you hear about James Madison University on a large scale. However, this team has been able to capture the hearts of many people all across America. James Madison transitioned from the CAA (FCS) to the Sunbelt Conference (FBS). This has made the Dukes’ ineligible from bowl games, and the NCAA recognizing their stats. The Dukes’ are currently 8-0 and not even eligible for a conference championship.
People nationwide are outraged and appalled by the NCAA’s decision not to let the Dukes’ be rewarded for their hard work. One of the players who has started gaining national attention is EDGE Jalen Green. He currently leads the entire country with 15.5 sacks. Green has been a game-wrecker all year with his pass-rush ability. Let’s take a dive into one of the most unique players in college football.
Weight: 245 Lbs
Green was a 247 Sports composite score three-star recruit coming out of high school. At the time, he was the highest-rated recruit the Dukes’ had ever landed. Green has stayed with the Dukes’ ever since.
Green is an excellent pass-rusher. The numbers he’s putting up for the Dukes’ are straight out of a video game. Along with his 15.5 sacks, Green has 29 hurries and 5 QB hits per PFF. His 86.4 pass-rushing grade is 18th in the country among all Edge rushers who have played 20% of snaps. He also has a pass-rush win percentage of 17.5%. This is on par with some of the best edge rushers in the class, like Chop Robinson, Bralen Trice, and Dallas Turner.
Another strength of Green is his hands. He has violent hands that he uses to break free from opposing linemen. His rips are absolutely vicious. He’s shown a wide variety of pass-rush moves. He’s gotten sacks with spin moves, rips, and chops.
Green possesses good instincts and speed coming off the edge. This allows him to be ahead of the curve when battling a bigger lineman. He uses his speed and technicality to get by defenders.
The biggest concern GMs will have about Green is his size. Standing in at only 6’1” and 245 lbs, Green is very small for his position. His measurables are well below the average, which might scare some teams away.
The next biggest concern for Green is the competition level. The Sunbelt isn’t known for having a ton of standout NFL talent. The big question is, will Green be able to produce in the NFL? He’s able to get away with his smaller stature in college, but it might not be as easy in the NFL. The linemen are bigger, faster, and stronger.
Green could use some work as a tackler. He currently has a 16.7% missed tackle rate. There are some plays on film where he’ll let HBs slip through his hands.
The Final Verdict
I don’t normally do player comparisons, but I think Green is very similar to Yannick Ngakoue. The Bears’ DE is very similar to Green in play style and physical traits. Ngakoue is 6’2” and 246 lbs. This is one inch taller than Green and only one pound more.
Both of these guys are fierce pass-rushers but aren’t the most refined in other areas of the game. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Ngaokue has had a long career out of being a guy who just attacks QBs on passing downs.
This is the role I would envision Green in at the next level. Overall, I think Green could be good value for a team that needs pass-rush in the later rounds. Due to his size and JMU not being a football powerhouse, I believe Green will be selected on day three. Making him the first player from JMU to be drafted since 2020.
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