Scott Rabalais Believes Jets First-Round Selection Is an ‘All-Around Package’
Similar to coaches and NFL Draft pundits throughout the league, The Advocate’s Scott Rabalais gave Jets first-round draft pick Jamal Adams a near peerless review.
“He could do it all,” Rabalais said. “He has good closing speed. He had five interceptions and two recovered fumbles the last two years at LSU, so he has a nose for the ball. He can jump the route and anticipate very well. He baits quarterbacks into throwing the ball where he’d like them to, which gives him a chance to get the ball.
“Supporting the run, he has the size to take on a running back who breaks through the initial containment or a tight end coming over the middle. There’s not a lot he can’t do except for maybe that blazing speed to go deep all the time, but he did run a 4.33 40-yard dash at his pro day.”
In Adams’ game, Rabalais sees shades of former Pro Bowl safety Laron Landry, another LSU product who was coincidentally selected No. 6 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Not only is Adams a star talent, but he’s lauded for his intangibles. In fact, he’s been referred to as debatably the best leader in LSU program history. He’ll have an opportunity with the Jets to take on a leadership role early in his career as the defense only has two players over the age of 30 (Davis Harris andSteve McLendon). However, Adams told Eric Allen of newyorkjets.com he wants to first earn the respect of his teammates and coaches.
“One thing that stands out to me is his personality and leadership skills,” Rabalais said. “He’s just a very positive young man, a leader on the team. I think he’s someone who will fit in well in the Jets locker room and be a positive force. He’ll be a team player as a rookie and mature into a team leader. So I think the Jets got an all-around package. You don’t just draft on talent in the first round, you draft on a lot of other factors and he’s got those things in abundance.”
Perhaps Adams’ most impressive collegiate feat is something that hasn’t received a lot of attention. In LSU’s first year under defensive coordinator Dave Aranda in 2016, he was essential in helping the unit transition and finish No. 10 in the nation in total defense. Adams tallied career highs in tackles (76) and tackles for loss (7.5) en route to the Tigers’ Citrus Bowl victory.
“There were changes and some growing pains with that defense, but they came on very quickly,” Rabalais said. “I think he helped as much as anyone to jell as a defense in October and November. By the end of the season, you saw them in the Citrus Bowl against Louisville in Orlando and they totally shut them down. They held them to three field goals and sacked Lamar Jackson six or seven times. Obviously, Jamal was a big part of that.”