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Chargers Draft Analysis: FB Jacob Hester

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by Thumper, May 1, 2008.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

    Aug 24, 2005
    Chargers Draft Analysis: FB Jacob Hester

    By Jaime Cattano
    Publisher, SDBoltReport.com
    Posted Apr 30, 2008

    Jaime Cattano continues her five-part series taking a closer look at the Chargers' draft picks. Determined to find support for Ladainian Tomlinson after the loss of Michael Turner, the Bolts traded a pair of picks to move up and nab Jacob Hester. A runner, blocker and receiver, this prospect carries a blend of skills sure to get him on the field.

    Who He Is

    Jacob Hester of LSU was a team captain his senior year. In the 5'11", 230-pounder's last season with the Tigers, he was selected to the All-Southeast Conference team and played full-time at halfback.

    Hester rushed for 1,103 yards and added 12 touchdowns on 225 attempts. He grabbed 14 passes for 106 yards and chipped in a score, plus registered eight tackles (four solo). While he led the team in rushing yards in 10 of 14 games, Hester fumbled just once during his career with the Tigers.

    Hester displayed his talents at the NFL Combine, placing fifth in the 3-cone drill (6.85 seconds) and seventh in the 20-yard shuttle (4.24 seconds).

    What to Like

    Hester is the personification of a versatile player. He is a solid north-and-south runner, an efficient blocker in pulls and traps, and is equipped with large hands to secure receptions. Hester is also a determined and unafraid tackler and has the stellar work ethic every special-teams coach desires.

    Hester has good initial quickness and, although he is not a road-runner up-field, he smartly compensates for the deficiency with crisp and decisive routes and smart angles out of the backfield. He attacks gaps with determination and never lets a clogged hole deter his leg drive.

    With enormous upper body strength, defenders have a difficult time trying to dislodge the ball from Hester's grasp. He can catch outside his frame, so he can do more than be used for dump-offs. When Hester possesses the ball, he has forceful direction and the power to square up against linebackers to get the extra yard.

    Hester is a natural playmaker and consistent in his abilities. He is a mobile blocker and gets good leverage to block effectively on the move. A classic overachiever and a tough player, he gives full effort every snap, proving eager and able to wear many hats.

    What's Not To Like

    Hester lacks the bulk to play fullback and will need to build his frame if he wants to excel as a blocker. He lacks elite speed and the pointed suddenness to jump out of his stance. He also fails to embody lateral agility or quick changes of direction, which limit him to a north-south running style.

    Even though he is stilted on a pair of thick legs with solid upper body strength, he is inconsistent in thrusting through the pile in short-yardage situations. His thick chest also comes with some stiffness, making it difficult for him to adjust his body to react to misdirected passes.

    Hester houses short arms, leading him to miss jump balls and passes at high points. He also struggles to track the ball over his head on extended routes. Hester's low running stance makes him a phone-booth player and he struggles to widen the lane as a lead blocker.

    Who the Bolts Passed Up

    When the Bolts snagged Hester, they in turn by-passed Jamaal Charles, who was the next running back drafted and was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs. Charles is a good athlete with top-notch acceleration and speed. He reaches full speed in a flash, leaving defenders in the dust. This attribute seems to be the primary edge Charles holds over Hester.

    Charles is not powerful enough to be an efficient blocker. He shies away from contact and fails to run over defenders in the hole. He goes down too easily on contact and simply isn't durable enough, which will make it difficult to withstand attacks at the next level. Charles is only a willing blocker, as compared to Hester, who enters every play full-throttle.

    Looking Forward

    After free-agent Michael Turner headed over to the Atlanta Falcons, the Bolts were in dire need of support for LaDainian Tomlinson. While Hester will be molded into a reliable option behind L.T., his versatility on the field will allow the Bolts to utilize his talents to the fullest extent.

    Hester runs with a bruising style that makes him a viable option to add depth behind FB Andrew Pinnock. Hester has the attitude and work ethic that will allow the Bolts space to see where he fits best.
  2. CajunlostinCali

    CajunlostinCali BoltTalker

    Apr 29, 2008
    For the most part this is a very good analogy of Hester’s abilities. To say that Hester is solely a north and south runner is what I believe a misunderstanding of his undiscovered running ability. LSU provided a championship O Line with depth to support. With the multitude of weapons available his talent for North and South was exploited for it's success. His abilities off the line are for the most part undiscovered. Once they test those abilities then we shall all know.

    Stacking Hester against Jamaal Charles IMO is a no contest, you simply cannot coach heart, and heart many times adds up extra yards. Third down and red zone plays, look for Hester to be a major contributor. :bolt:
  3. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2007

    Charger fans just can't wait to add another weapon and dimension to the already diverse offense. We currently have a lot of offensive players that can do multiple things or line up at multiple positions. Vincent Jackson is a huge wide-out and great blocker. Gates lines up at tight-end and wide receiver. Legs can line up in the backfield, on the line, and at wide out. Not to mention LT, who can do it all.

    Hester will come in and compliment the offense nicely, because he can run the ball, play as a lead blocker, as well as catch the ball out of the backfield. He's just gonna be another player that defenses will have to worry about while on the field. Lorenzo was one of my favorite Chargers ever, but he was specifically a lead blocker. When he was in the game defenses didn't worry about him catching the ball and running for twenty yards. So, while Hester can't block as well as Lorenzo could, he will most certainly bring more to the table in regards to offensive abilities. He's just gonna be another versatile piece to an already versatile offense.

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