2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Clemson TE Jordan Leggett

From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

Jordan Leggett/TE Clemson – 6’5 260

The Good

– NFL frame, long and still lean body that could add a little weight if required
– Natural pass catcher, high ability to adjust to poorly thrown passes and make soft hand catches away from the framework of his body
– Able to catch in traffic, shows concentration and makes contested catches
– Quick to the tuck, puts the ball away quickly and YAC threat
– Shows nuance in stem of his route when running vertically, able to separate at the top of his route
– Works hard in scramble drills, stays on the same line
– Gives effort as a run blocker and asked to stay in to pass protect
– High level of production against good competition
– Tons of starting experience

The Bad

– Poor blocker who lacks functional strength to win the POA
– Too often falls off blocks in space and in a booth
– Not a crisp route runner and struggles to get proper depth on short to intermediate breaking routes
– Wasn’t asked to play in a three point stance or in-line blocker very often, lots of snaps off ball


– 36 career starts
– 2016: 46 receptions, 736 yards, 7 TDs
– Career: 112 receptions, 1598 yards, 18 TDs
– Two-time First Team All-ACC selection (2015, 2016)

Tape Breakdown

It’s rare you can point a player with a broad brush and be accurate about it. But you could do so with Jordan Leggett, summing him up like this. A strong downfield threat, poor everywhere else. He can stretch the field and make impressive plays there but in shorter route concepts, and as a blocker, he struggles.

First, the good. Leggett has a great pair of hands and can make some really difficult catches. Arguably his most impressive came in this year’s National Title game, making this sensational grab with 14 seconds left. Unreal body control and ability to adjust back to the football.

And he can make contested grabs, making this reception with the linebacker hanging on him as Leggett goes to the ground.

He’s a strong route runner when asked to run vertically, able to run players off with speed, and has nuance in his route running at the top of his stem to create space. He’ll be a challenge to defend down the seams in the league, exactly where you want a tight end to win.

While he gives effort as a blocker, I won’t knock him for that, he isn’t very good at it. It’s not for a lack of experience. He may have been off ball a lot but was used a ton in their run game; he wasn’t solely removed from the tackle box and used as a decoy. Despite a big frame, he lacks functional strength to win the point of attack. Too often falling off blocks, like here, whiffing at the next level as the back gets blown up behind the LOS.

He gets marked for simply being used in pass pro, something not every tight end did, but again, not an area he did well in. Gets beat bad here in the 2015-2016 title game, giving up a sack.

I’m sure you could work on his technique some, carrying his lower half, uncoiling his hips on contact as a blocker, but I don’t know how much better he’s going to get. A Jesse James-level perhaps, maybe still a tick worse, unless his technique gets really good, which is how James saw steady improvement throughout the year.

But perspective is key when looking at a prospect. Focus on how he can win, not how he’ll use. And I think he profiles similar to Ladarius Green. He’ll win as a receiver and you’ll have to scheme him to not kill you as a run blocker.

He’s never going to be a top-tier tight end because he’s limited in a couple different ways. But he can do what he does well, making big plays, for a long time.

Projection: Late Day Two, Early Day Three

Games Watched: at North Carolina (2015), vs Alabama (2015), vs Virginia Tech, vs Alabama

Previous 2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Deshaun WatsonHaason ReddickMarshon LattimoreCorey ClementTim Williams
Jourdan LewisTakkarist McKinleyBrad KaayaNathan PetermanO.J. Howard
Charles HarrisAlvin KamaraTyus BowserDavid NjokuDeMarcus Walker
Chidobe AwuzieDeShone KizerMarlon MackCameron SuttonZach Cunningham
Corey DavisCarl LawsonPatrick MahomesKareem HuntEvan Engram
Derek RiversRyan AndersonJosh Dobbs

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • The Chin

    Marczi could block better than this cat. Pass!

  • Bill Sechrengost

    Thanks Alex. It’s disappointing to hear that he is such a poor blocker. I was hoping that with his size, he might be better at it. Would like to see profile for Michael Roberts, the TE from Toledo. Also, would like to see some safety profiles: Marcus Williams, Utah; Jordan Sterns, Oklahoma State; John Johnson, Boston College; Kai Nacua, BYU would be ones I would like to see.

  • T3xassteelers

    If he’s there in the second, I say get him.

  • Spencer Krick

    Basically in the same boat as Engram, wonder if these guys should just be WRs. I think you hit the nail on the head with his draft day projection, I think I’d consider taking him in Round 4.

  • The Tony

    Can he play special teams? If he fell to the fourth round, that might be interesting. As it stands, I see no purpose of drafting a tight end in the first three rounds. There are questions that need answering, like will Grimble make it down to the practice squad (I’d assume he would), if not, would we cut Grimble? I can’t see us carrying four tight ends on the roster. We are going into the season with the belief that Green is 100 percent ready to go. James number 2, potential rookie or Grimble 3.

  • The Tony

    Can you guys write up Butt soon? I am pretty intrigued by him, even though he is injured

  • Steelers12

    i pass on the injured player unless he falls to 6th round

  • BallHandling Hooker

    I think he’s possibly the best option, especially with Green around.

    Taking Butt, a borderline round 1 talent, as he drops to the 3rd or 4th, essentially tells Green that he has a season to prove he’s durable enough. If he’s not, Butt’s there.

    If he is, then Butt, Green, and James form a formidable TE core.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    It is getting harder and harder to find the well rounded TE who sort of does it all. The elite athletes who stretch the field don’t often get used in blocking and the ones who excel at blocking rarely get the opportunity to use their receiving skills and often lack the speed necessary to do it. He might be a good option to mitigate against the possibility that Green goes down for the year again.

  • PaeperCup

    Too bad as a bigger guy he can’t block, Maybe Munchak can fix that and he can be the complete package.

  • Alex Kozora

    That’d be more of a James Daniel thing.

  • Alex Kozora

    Most TEs aren’t going to have a heavy role on STs. Wing on field goals, a blocker on kick return, but for the way this team is built, it probably won’t be needed.

  • PaeperCup

    right, thank you

  • SouthernSteel

    Haley dosn’t like using blocking TE’s.. instead extra linemen. ..so I think Leggett fits

  • LucasY59

    Butt would be a 2nd rd pick if he was healthy, if he makes it to the end of the 4th that is really good value, I highly doubt he makes it much further than that, If he was there in the 6th it would be beyond a no-brainer

  • LucasY59

    I really like that he made some clutch catches in big games this yr, and since that is apparently all he can do, at least he does it well

    I dont like that he is not much of a blocker, and since he is one dimensional I wouldnt use a pick earlier than the 3rd on him and would prefer to wait till the 4th (Its not a big enough need to pick sooner, unless he was a bigger talent)

    OJ Howard is a suprise 1st rd pick, Njoku would be a consideration if he was still available in the 2nd, and then Leggett is the 3rd TE I would rank on the Steelers board (Hodges is right there with him, both are pass only, but have size, I dont think guys like Engram are going to get much interest) and then its Butt if he is a value pick (4th or later) I also like Shaheen but I am not sure if the Steelers will have much interest since he is from a really small school

  • Steelers12

    Yeah but we so close to SB we need defensive contributors

  • Donald Tillman

    Can you do Jeremy Sprinkle and Cole Hikutini please.

  • LucasY59

    if they go D with the first 3 picks they should get the contributors, the third day of the draft is usually depth players (or ones that wont contribute much as rookies)

  • jsteeler

    Clemson doesn’t ask their TE to stay in and block that often. Jordan Leggett is 6’5, 260. A physical WR’s that just get in the opposing linebackers way on run plays. On run pass option plays they sit down in open areas. (cover 2/3). Or they run past LB/Safeties up the seam in Man to Man. Leggett should have won the John Mackey award as he had more yards (637, 119 more yards than Butts & 192 yards more than Howard.) and more TD’s (7) more than O.J Howard (2) and (4) Butts. Leggett also broke the Clemson record for TE’s in Rec, Yards & TD’s. The last to do that at Clemson was Dwayne Allen (COLTS) and He went on to win the Mackey. (2012).