2022 NFL Draft: Leo Chenal Scouting Report

Leo Chenal NFL Draft

Leo Chenal NFL Draft Overview

Position: Linebacker
Height: 6-3
Weight: 250 lbs.
School: Wisconsin

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Leo Chenal 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Leo Chenal is the high-energized leader of the University of Wisconsin defense, which was one of the top units in the nation. After watching him play for the last three seasons, his passion for the game cannot be matched. Chenal played at a small high school (Grantsburg) in Wisconsin, but his outstanding play earned him Gatorade State Player of the Year honors in his senior season. He was a standout performer on both sides of the ball. Chenal gained over 3,500 career rushing yards and scored 65 touchdowns from the tailback position. Plus, he was a tackling machine (365 recorded) as the anchor of the defense.

It was not a foregone conclusion that Chenal would attend Wisconsin as he visited two Big Ten foes (Minnesota and Iowa) and received a scholarship offer from San Dakota State. In the end, Chenal chose his home state school.

In his freshman season, Chenal saw action as a key reserve role in 11 games. He totaled 20 tackles (two for losses) and one sack. After completing his first off-season program, Chenal started all seven games played by the Badgers in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He recorded 46 tackles (six for losses), three sacks and one interception. Chenal earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors for his effort.

In his final season at Madison, Chenal gained national attention as one of the top defensive stars in the Big Ten. He made 115 tackles (18.5 for losses), eight sacks and two forced fumbles in 11 games. Chenal was named Second-Team All-American and Big Ten Linebacker of the Year.

Strengths

  • Great lower body strength
  • Perfect technique in shedding blockers
  • Outstanding gap run-stuffer
  • Excellent open field tackler
  • Room for development
  • High work ethic to get better

Weaknesses

  • Limited lateral quickness
  • Needs more explosion off the snap
  • Poor pass coverage skills
  • Lacks patience to let a play develop
  • Tends to run himself out of plays

NFL Comparison: Bobby Wagner

Teams With Need at Position: Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers

Projection: Late Second-Early Third Round

Bottom Line on Leo Chenal

Chenal is a physical inside linebacker who will make plays between the tackles. Quickly, NFL offensive coordinators will learn that it is impossible to move him off his space. Wisconsin coaches rave about his toughness and how he meets a ball carrier in the gap.

However, Chenal needs to show more quickness when moving from sideline to sideline. He tends to take himself out of plays by over-anticipating where a ball carrier is going. Chenal will need to become a better pass defender and blitzing from the inside gaps to remain on the field for all three downs. No question with his skill level that Chenal can become competent in both areas. Unless he improves, Chenal’s playing time will be limited.

Never count-out his passion to get better as an all around football player.

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