November 17, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators linebacker Jon Bostic (1) points during the second half against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 23-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft: Jon Bostic Prospect Profile


A highly recruited prospect out of high school, Jon Bostic chose to be part of the prestigious program of the University of Florida after the Gators won their third National Title (second in three years); and he did not disappoint. As a true freshman, Bostic made an impact on special teams as well as contributed behind an already talent laden Florida defense. It was not until his junior year that Bostic broke out as one of the best linebackers in theSEC. Jon Bostic hopes to compete in the professional level, and will try to prove why teams should not pass up on him for other more popular linebackers in the draft.

Measurables:
6″1, 245 lbs.

Strenghts:
Jon Bostic strenght lies mainly in his instinct and high football IQ. What he studies during the week in film room is easily recognized in his game day impact. In the Ohio St. game in 2011, Bostic neutralized the screen pass play on three separate occasions; immediately recognizing what the opponents were up to when he saw the offensive formation. Furthermore, his intelligence was displayed in his ability to command the defense, calling audibles, and making sure his teammates were in position. Bostic’s seemingly declining statistical production belie his true value as a football player and leader. Already known to be a vocal leader on-field and in the locker room, Bostic again shows his leadership by opening paths for his teammates to the ball carrier through taking on the offensive blockers, such as the fullback, tight end, or any offensive linemen. He understands that he can be a force to be reckoned with, without showing it on the stat sheet. Bostic is also a hard hitter, and at times he shows his raw power by throwing 300+ lbs. linemen aside.  In pass rushing situations, Bostic can consistently generate pressure on the quarterback. He can go very low to gain an advantage on the offensive tackle, and continue to accelerate towards the quarterback.When he is attacking the ballcarrier, sometimes he would hit hard enough to loosened the football from his target. Additionally, he possess coverage skills in shallow zone area, required of a complete linebacker. Quarterbacks appear to hesitate or avoid all-together to throw in the direction of Bostic, when Bostic locks onto the short area receiver.

Weaknesses:
As excited of a prospect as Jon Bostic appear to be, he is still far from being a complete football player. There are often times after engaging a blocker, he is not able to shed the opponent, and gets locked up and become neutralized. He will get pushed aside by stronger opponents, and has a difficult time getting close to the runningback. He also lacks game speed, despite what his Scouting Combine speed may indicate, struggling to catch up to speedier players. His movements are also deliberate, often overthinking whether to take the risk and lunge at the ball carrier or play it safe by making sure to defend the big plays. It is these moments of hesitation that he appears slow, and does not finish plays. He may be able to get close and generate pressure on the player who is holding the ball, but he does not finish the play. Jon Bostic is also not able to cover larger areas in pass coverage. His side-to-side bursts is excellent in short zone areas, but he will struggle to get to the sideline if the opponent is running a stretch run or pitch play.

Projection:
In a class where inside linebackers seem to be very shallow, and currently show no clear favorites, Jon Bostic’s intangibles will stand out and make teams want to take a chance on him. His leadership and high character will be a big plus in his corner. As a football player, teams may want to have him learn behind a veteran and he may be asked to contribute in Special Teams early on. With that said, he is an extremely smart player who will be a student of the game and when he has learned to trust his instinct more, Jon Bostic has potential to be a starter before long. He is suited to play in a 3-4 scheme as an Strong Inside Linebacker, opening paths for his teammates and playing coverage in the passing game.

Grade: 7.1



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