Former Boise State Leighton Vander Esch is currently expected by many analysts to be selected in the first-round of this year’s draft and in addition to that, he’s been mocked to the Pittsburgh Steelers quite extensively since he decided to forgo his senior college season back in January. However, with less than two weeks to go before the 2018 NFL Draft, one report is now surfacing stating that Vander Esche has medical concerns.
According to a Monday report by Charlie Campbell of Walter Football, more than one team has removed Vander Esch from their draft board due to him failing their medical checks. Other teams reportedly don’t even have him as a first-round selection.
“To me, he’s a third-round talent, but probably will go higher,” said an AFC general manager, according to Monday’s report. “He has gotten a lot of hype, but he plays soft. He’s too much like Paul Posluszny for me. He’s a good player and will have a lot of tackles, but most of them will come four yards downfield. He’s not an impact-at-the-line guy like a Ray Lewis, Luke Kuechly, Jon Beason or Brian Urlacher.”
After Campbell’s report surfaced Monday morning, renown draft analyst Tony Pauline disputed it on Twitter.
“This is completely false,” Pauline tweeted.
Vander Esch, who was just a one-year starter at Boise State, did miss six games during the 2016 season with various injuries. He did, however, start all 14 games last season on his way to registering 141 total tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and four forced fumbles. Additionally, at this year’s combine, Vander Esch put on a show and his workout numbers while in Indianapolis resulted in a very impressive pSPARQ score of 143.6.
Up until Monday there have been no indications that Vander Esch has any concerning medical issues. Additionally, let it be known that Campbell has a somewhat sketchy history when it comes to news breaking and that’s why we don’t often link to any of his work.
It’s not unusual to hear seemingly unfavorable reports about top-rated prospects just ahead of drafts taking place and like so many of them in the past, there doesn’t appear to be much substance to this Monday report by Campbell on Vander Esch, who had a pre-draft visit with the Steelers a few Saturdays ago.