Draft Profile: BioJack Sanborn captained his high school team and finished his three-year playing career with 296 tackles and 13.0 sacks and had 120 tackles and 3 sacks as a senior. He was rated a Four-star recruit by 247 Sports and Rivals and a three-star recruit by ESPN. Sanborn joined Wisconsin in 2018 and played immediately - seeing action in 11 games and finishing with 7 total tackles, including 4 solo stops, and recorded 1 forced fumble and 1 pass breakup on 51 snaps.
In 2019 as a sophomore Sanborn was awarded with the starting role at inside linebacker and finished the season starting all 14 games (playing on 780 snaps) at inside linebacker he finished the season by leading the team with 80 total tackles, including 9.0 TFLs and 5.5 sacks - matched a team high with 3 interceptions and broke up 3 passes.
In the COVID shortened season of 2020 Sanborn started all 7 games while playing 413 snaps at inside linebacker and led the team with 52 total tackles and logged 4 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and an interception. At season's end, he received a spot on the All-Big Ten third team and was the Duke's Mayo Bowl MVP.
2021 was Sanborns best as he started 13 games and played 692 snaps. He chalked up 49 tackles and a huge 49 stops, alongside 36 total QB pressures on the year and 4 sacks. At the end of the regular season, both Jack Sanborn and his teammate Leo Chenal were named to the All-Big Ten First Team.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Traditional inside/middle linebacker with high football IQ alongside outstanding on-field instincts to diagnose the play in a flash
- Very good tackler who pretty much always wraps up and takes excellent angles to the ballcarrier
- Sanborn is an excellent pass rusher and has consistently been able to provide pressure on delayed blitzes through the middle
- Plays with great leverage - gets low and uses hands to get into blockers' pads - driving them backward
- Natural leader - team captain who has constant motor and never takes a play off
- Decent in short area zone coverage - has had a career QB rating when targeted of 68.1
- Reads the quarterback to anticipate and is a candidate to play outside
- A bit stiff but makes the clean open-field tackle. Good effort in pursuit.
- Plays fast, flows with the action, showing smooth lateral agility and short-area burst. Has good instincts and awareness to quickly find the ball.
- Intelligent player who can play "MIKE" linebacker despite his lack of size because of his instincts and ability to find the ball in traffic.
- Quick to read run, showing good agility and speed to get past blockers and finish. Experienced in coverage and gets a strong jam on outside receivers.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Has only average ability - isn't twitchy and plays slower than his 4.73 he put up at the combine
- Struggles against faster backs and tight ends in coverage
- Doesn't have a great lean and plays a bit stiff in his hips which can make him a liability in coverage
- Lacks explosiveness in his game and doesn't have enough speed, power, or bulk to be elite at any LB position in the NFL
- Only adequate change-of-direction ability. Also loses his balance too often in the open field. Lacks size to bull rush stronger tackles
- Does not blow up targets. Many inside tackles are catch-and-drags, which will be more difficult to make at the next level
Scouting Report: SummaryJack Sanborn is very much a low-floor kind of player who has consistently played at an excellent level for the Badgers. He's a traditional middle linebacker with outstanding instincts and a high football IQ as well as being a natural leader on the field. He however has a limited ceiling due to limited overall athletic ability as Sanborn is neither quick nor fast and has only average strength at the POA. Sanborn will be viewed as a player who will be a backup at the next level and who will contribute on special teams.
Expect Sanborn to hear name called no higher than the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Jack Sanborn percentiles vs other Inside Linebacker's (NFL Combine historically - higher value represents better perfomance)
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