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NFL Network's Jane Slater passes along that some members of the Dallas Cowboys organization view Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch as "Brian Urlacher 2.0."

We've heard the Urlacher comp with Vander Esch from several corners of the internet, ranging from Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline to NFL Media's Lance Zierlein. Looks like the Cowboys are all about that lofty comparison for the 6-foot-4, 256-pounder as well. So much of the attention with Dallas' No. 19 pick comes with the team's opening at receiver following their cutting bait with Dez Bryant, but we're not locking them in for a first-round receiver, especially given the depth of that position group.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 23 - 6:34 PM

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora speculates that if the Denver Broncos trade down from the No. 5 pick, they could potentially be looking at Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch lower in the draft.

Broncos GM John Elway confirmed on Thursday that the team is open to trading the No. 5 pick. La Canfora floats a possible swap with the Bills, who currently sit at No. 12 but may have to move up to select the quarterback they covet.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 20 - 1:54 PM

Boise State junior RB Alexander Mattison (leg) did not take part in the team's spring game over the weekend.

We knew heading in that Mattison would be a long shot for the scrimmage, as he's been resting up from offseason leg surgery this spring. This past season, the 6-foot, 200-pounder rushed for 1,086 yards (5.1 YPC) and 12 touchdowns, coming on strong down the stretch after a slow start to the campaign. Expect additional updates as to his health status as the summer sun breaks over the Boise Valley in the coming months. With Mattison out of action this past weekend, Drake Beasley, Robert Mahone and Skyler Seibold all saw meaningful carries during the team's spring game.
Apr 17 - 6:31 PM

Rotoworld's Thor Nystrom reports that Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch's medicals include a concussion, a c-spine nerve injury and a minor knee injury.

B.J. Rains, a Boise State beat writer at the Idaho Press-Tribune, passes along that both the concussion and neck injury referenced by Nystrom occurred on the same play in 2016, limiting him to just six games for the campaign. He did not miss time for the most recent campaign. Further padding out this story, ESPN's Chris Mortensen is hearing that "some teams have flagged Vander Esch" for the neck injury, but that "not all necessarily removed him from draft board[s]." All of this comes about following a report from Walter Football's Charlie Campbell earlier on Monday which had more than one team scrubbing Vander Esch from their boards due to medical concerns. Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm subsequently released a conflicting report, citing a source close to Vander Esch who "vehemently den[ied]" that there was any real concern over the linebacker's health history.
Apr 16 - 5:25 PM

A source close to Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch told Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm that an earlier report regarding the linebacker failing medical checks was untrue.

Edholm writes that his source from Vander Esch's camp "completely and vehemently denies" that the linebacker has run into issues with his medical checks. Earlier on Monday, Walter Football's Charlie Campbell reported that several teams had axed the Boise State standout from their draft boards due to health concerns. Edholm is hearing that Vander Esch was not even at combine rechecks, though. We'll cut through the smoke one way or another in a little over a week.
Apr 16 - 1:35 PM

Walter Football's Charlie Campbell hears that more than one team has nixed Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch from their draft board due to his failing their medical checks.

Campbell does not specify what, exactly, some teams might have spotted in Vander Esch's medicals. While the 6-foot-4, 256-pounder has widely been viewed as a first-round selection by the draft community, Campbell relays that four teams he's spoken to see the Boise State standout as a Day 2 talent. Explained one AFC GM, "He has gotten a lot of hype, but he plays soft." That same general manager later added that Vander Esch is "not an impact-at-the-line guy like a Ray Lewis, Luke Kuechly, Jon Beason or Brian Urlacher."
Apr 16 - 12:14 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline hears that Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch will likely be selected by pick No. 20.

For reference's sake, that 20th pick is owned by the Detroit Lions. Vander Esch (6'4/256) has been a sturdy performer throughout the evaluating process, testing in the 96th percentile of NFL linebackers while at the combine and later acing his position drills on pro day. The Cardinals, Steelers, Titans, Bills and those aforementioned Lions are all among the potential suitors for Vander Esch's services.
Apr 10 - 6:41 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline notes that Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson "looked very good catching the ball" during Tuesday's pro day.

Wilson (6'2/197) stood by his testing numbers from the combine -- he posted a composite athletic score in the 47th percentile of NFL wideouts in Indianapolis -- while taking part in position drills. We like him for his route-running and his ability as a downfield threat. He figures to be drafted some time on Day 3 later this month.
Apr 4 - 3:53 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline passes along that Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch "looked tremendous during position drills" while taking part in Tuesday's pro day.

Vander Esch (6'4/256) opted to stand on his combine numbers on Tuesday. No surprise there given that he tested in the 96th percentile of NFL linebackers while in Indianapolis. He did take part in drills, though. And how. Writes Pauline, "He was fluid and explosive and once again showed no stiffness moving around the field. For Vander Esch, today’s position drills were the perfect complement to his knockout testing at the combine." He's now off on an official predraft visit to the Cowboys, with a slew of officials set to follow -- Pauline ticks off the Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills as parties which will all play host to Vander Esch as they try to get a read on the stud Day 1 linebacking prospect.
Apr 4 - 12:53 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline passes along that Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch met with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday.

Vander Esch (6'4/256) will be taking part in Boise State's pro day on Tuesday as he readies for the stretch run before the draft. While the linebacking standout would be a welcome addition to the Steelers -- in need of help at the position -- they would almost certainly need to trade up to get into range to actually select the Boise State standout. Pittsburgh owns the No. 28 pick in the draft, probably a bit too late to procure Vander Esch's services. He tested in the 96th percentile of NFL linebackers at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Apr 3 - 1:35 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline relays that Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch has both a private workout and official visit scheduled with the Dallas Cowboys.

Pauline was hearing rumblings of the Cowboys' interest in Vander Esch dating back to the Senior Bowl. That interest has understandably not abated following a strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine -- the 6-foot-4, 256-pounder tested in the 96th percentile of NFL linebackers, the best overall mark in the position group. Holding pick No. 19 for April's draft, Dallas is near the front edge of Vander Esch's likely draft range.
Mar 21 - 6:07 PM

Boise STate signed previously uncommitted three-star 2018 TE Tyneil Hopper in February.

Hopper (6'2/230) was a standout at camps over the 2017 summer, and had offers from schools like Auburn, Kentucky, Louisville and Alabama. In other words, it's a big get for the Broncos. He rated as the 20th best tight end in the class, and his strong hands and strength to become an inline blocker could have him fighting for playing time immediately for Boise State in the Mountain West Conference.
Mar 19 - 6:25 PM

NFL Media's Lance Zierlein compares Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch to an earlier version of Karlos Dansby.

Dansby at one point was one of the very best inside linebackers in the game, so this is a lofty compliment to Vander Esch. Zierlein calls Vander Esch a "loose-hipped, instinctive linebacker who played in 2017 like he had a GPS tracker on the football," and calls his productivity against the pass and rush "rare." Because of the positional value he may fall in the second day, but the 6-foot-4, 256-pound linebacker could easily go in the first 32 selections.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 19 - 1:22 PM

Boise State junior RB Alexander Mattison is wearing a boot as spring practice gets underway.

Mattison (6'0/200) was dealing with a leg injury up through Boise State's Las Vegas Bowl win over Oregon in December and subsequently underwent surgery. Broncos HC Bryan Harsin has said that he will likely the miss the whole of spring practice. The junior started the 2017 season slow -- he was dealing with injury concern last August -- but got things going in the second half to finish up with 1,086 yards rushing (5.1 YPC) and 12 touchdowns on 212 carries. He also proved adept in his pass catching, logging a 28-284-1 receiving line on the year. With Mattison on the recovery trail, RB coach Lee Marks indicated that redshirt freshman Drake Beasley and sophomore Robert Mahone will see the majority of significant reps with the first-team offense this spring.
Mar 13 - 4:51 PM

Rotoworld's Josh Norris passes along that Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson is visiting the Saints on Tuesday.

Wilson (6'3/188) is one of our favorite mid-round wideouts in the draft class. He's a sharp route-runner who has shown nice juice when working deep. He profiles as a probable Day 3 selection for April. The Boise State standout posted a composite testing score in the 47th percentile of NFL athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Mar 13 - 3:42 PM


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