2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Leo Chenal

  • Leo Chenal, 6-3/261

  • Outside Linebacker

  • Wisconsin

  • Leo Chenal Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Dangerous pass rusher
  • Quick to run around the corner
  • Good leverage to get underneath tackles
  • Instinctive
  • Speed off the edge
  • Burst to close
  • Solid tackler
  • Very strong
  • Can hold his ground
  • Tough to move in the ground game
  • Toughness
  • Will contribute in the ground game

  • Weaknesses:
  • Has some limitations as a pursuit run defender
  • Stiffness
  • Issues with redirecting
  • Tight
  • Could stand to improve play recognition
  • Vision needs to get better

  • Summary: Chenal first saw extensive playing time for the Badgers in the shortened 2020 season, racking up a solid 40 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and one interception. In 2021, he was one of the most dangerous pass rushers in the Big Ten with eight sacks, two forced fumbles and 96 tackles on the season.

    Chenal is a tough pass rusher who has a good motor and fights hard. Last year, he showed real power as a rusher, and even though he is not big, he is very strong for his size. Chenal possesses the strength to shed and uses that power to put quarterbacks into the turf with some violence. Off the snap, Chenal has some burst in a straight line to get upfield. He has some stiffness, however, giving him issues with redirecting. His best fit could come as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

    Chenal was not an impressive pass-coverage linebacker at Wisconsin. He has tightness that makes him a poor fit for pass coverage in the NFL.

    In run defense, Chenal is very strong in the box and is tough for offensive lineman to move. He can stack and hold his ground well while showing the ability to get off blocks. Chenal, however, is a heavier linebacker who could have issues being productive in pursuit chasing down pro backs. Vision and play recognition are areas where Chenal needs to get better.

    Chenal lacks some weight to be an every-down edge defender. He could use more refinement on pass-rushing moves for the NFL, and it wold help him to get stronger.

    For the NFL, Chenal could be a Sam – strongside – linebacker in a 4-3 defense who rushes off the edge in the sub package. In a 3-4 defense, Chenal could be an outside linebacker who also might be able to play some on the inside in run downs and rushes off the edge in the sub package. His best fit could come in a 3-4. In the 2022 NFL Draft, Chenal could go as high as the second round and probably won’t slide lower than the fourth round. Some evaluators graded him in Round 2, but in a survey of sources, the majority had him as a third- or fourth-round pick.

    Player Comparison: Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy (6-3, 250) is similar size to Chenal, and both are versatile linebackers. In college, Van Noy was a prolific sacker of the quarterback, and in the NFL, he has turned into a well-rounded defender who can contribute in pass coverage as well as rush the quarterback. I think Chenal could follow a similar pattern as a pro. Van Noy was an early second-round pick – 40th overall – in the 2014 NFL Draft, and Chenal similarly could go on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft.


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