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Ja'Whuan Bentley, LB, Purdue

Dave Syvertsen, Ourlads' Senior Draft Analyst
08/10/2018 4:04PM ET

The only three-time team captain in school history, Ja’Whuan Bentley has certainly left his mark on the Purdue program both on and off the field.  He is also one of the more unique linebackers in this class, as there may not be a bigger one out there who plays between the tackles.  Bentley has been a four year starter who has had to deal with multiple lower body injuries, but has been very productive when healthy.  He is a scheme-only fit in the NFL, meaning some teams may not even consider him while other could see him as a top 100 overall prospect. 

What He Does Well:

At his size (6-2, 260), one would think Bentley wasn’t an athlete and couldn’t make things happen in space.  While he may not have ideal sideline to sideline range, Bentley is certainly a factor tackle to tackle.  He can reach his top speed fast.  As expected, Bentley’s greatest impact is in the power game.  Running into him, no matter how big or how much you have behind your pads, is similar to running into a brick wall.  He is rarely knocked backward or off balance.  Bentley will rarely miss a tackle when his hands are on the ball carrier.  There is more versatility than one would think, as he has plenty of snaps in coverage and as an edge rusher in addition to his normal inside role.

Where He Needs Work:

The number one thing I look for in a linebacker is instinctual play.  Can he read things before they happen, does he anticipate, is he always a step ahead.  All of the great ones do that at a high level and I have yet to seen this out of Bentley.  He has a hard time getting though traffic because he is so big and he doesn’t show instincts.  He won’t be out moving anyone, so he needs to show better pre snap recognition and post snap footwork.