Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Assessment by Kyle Crabbs
Name: Jason Cabinda
School: Penn State University
Position: Middle Linebacker
Date of Birth: 03/17/1996
High School: Hunterdon Central (NJ)
Games played: 31
Games started: 23
Team Captain: Yes
195 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10.0 tackles for loss (TFL).
High School Accolades
Set local high school record for most touchdowns with 50 as a running back. Three year starter and captain as a two-way player. Was named 2nd team All-State on both offense and defense during senior season. Former basketball player as well, three-year letter man.
2014 Honorable mention All-Big 10 Freshman team. 2015 Honorable mention All-Big 10. 2016 3rd team All-Big 10. Selected to Bednarik and Butkus preseason watch lists.
Games watched: Ohio State (2016), Wisconsin (2016), Southern California (2016)
Can be a heavy hitter when playing into the teeth of the line of scrimmage. Does well to gain ground with initial read step before patiently squaring up ball carriers between the tackles. Flashed with big production down the stretch and plays with a good rally to the football. Animated and emotional leader on the field; plays with fire and likes to talk at opposition after the whistle. Shows a fair amount of range against the run as a MIKE; capable of working outside the numbers to challenge boundary runs. Likable anticipation in zone drops to hit landmarks and shade into route stems.
Is not especially dynamic or fluid in lateral situations. Does not have explosion in lateral steps and struggles to mirror skill players in open space. As a result can slide off of some tackle attempts in pass coverage situations or when working against more twitched ball carriers. Needs to work on peripheral vision and picking up opposition working into space to avoid late developing blockers. Too easily wiped out of plays by climbing offensive linemen; would like to see greater focus working off of blocks.
Penn State Linebacker Jason Cabinda flirted with the NFL after a productive 9 game showing in 2016; where the linebacker finished with 81 total tackles in 9 contests. Cabinda was essential to the team knocking off the Ohio State Buckeyes in Happy Valley, playing with impressive pursuit and physicality. Cabinda instead opted to return for his 2017 senior season and figures to be one of the more productive off ball linebackers in the country, health willing.
Cabinda has a moderate level of both range, long speed and hitting power, making him an interesting prospect. Adding on his clear leadership presence on the Penn State defense and Cabinda shows a number of traits evaluators would like to see from a MIKE prospect.
Where Cabinda needs to show some improvement in 2017 is with his anticipation of playing off of blocks, improving his initial redirection effort again in man to man coverage against either tight ends or running backs in space and being a cleaner finisher as a tackler.