Jesse Luketa NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Arizona Cardinals' EDGE

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2022

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 20: Jesse Luketa #40 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after a play against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the first half at Beaver Stadium on November 20, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'2 7/8"


HAND: 10 3/8"

ARM: 32 5/8"

WINGSPAN: 6'6 3/4"

40-YARD DASH: 4.89




BROAD: 9'6"


— Thick build with a ton of muscle in the upper body.

— Great upper-body strength. Flashes heavy hands and can control blocks effectively when engaged.

— Above-average quickness. Can make plays in the backfield on occasion.

— Above-average speed and mobility. Covers ground well after getting off blocks.

— Unafraid to play in cluttered spaces and get scrappy. Tough, violent player.

— Shows the ability to win with power and relentlessness as a pass-rusher.


— Poor get-off and acceleration. Rarely comes off the ball with an instant advantage.

— Poor bend and flexibility as a pass-rusher.

— Late hands, both versus run and pass. Too often lets OL into his frame.

— Below-average length.

— Struggles maintaining his base in run defense. More an issue with technique and foot speed than strength.


12 G, 61 TOT, 8.5 TFL, 0.5 SK, 1 INT


— 4-star recruit in 2018.

— Recruited as an inside linebacker, but transitioned to more of an edge position.

— Two-year starter.


Jesse Luketa has all the makings of a quality role player; nothing more, nothing less.

Luketa rocks a stocky 6'2⅜", 261-pound build with a thick upper body. Naturally, run defense is his calling card. He has the strength to knock players back initially as well as take good control of blocks with his upper-body strength. Luketa is also a very violent player, often showcasing that whenever he got a chance to take on a pulling linemen.

If anything, Luketa needs to work on bringing his feet with him and being a bit more privy to how the offense is trying to attack him. He can get knocked off his base too easily, which is troubling considering he has the raw strength for that not to be an issue if not for poor technique.

With that said, Luketa is also quicker than he looks. Luketa's stocky build does not scream quickness and mobility at first glance, but his lateral agility and change of direction are both above-average. Though he does not come off the ball with the same kind of juice, his other movement skills give him the ability to work in a phone booth and find creases every now and again. He also covers ground effectively once he works free.

Luketa's pass-rushing toolbox is limited at this stage, though. He does not come off the snap and accelerate well, making it tough to get the advantage on the edge. He does not have the bend or flexibility to make up for that lack of juice, either. Luketa does offer some good power and a nonstop motor, which lends to cleanup sacks, but his middling length and inconsistent hand usage hurt him too often right now.

Ideally, whichever team drafts Luketa will make him a run-defense specialist on the edge. His pass-rushing traits and approach are lacking right now, and his ceiling in that department is low. However, Luketa's toughness, strength and surprising quickness at the line of scrimmage are enough to make him a playable run defender sooner than later.

GRADE: 6.1 (High-level developmental prospect - 5th Round)




Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen