After a long wait, Ja’Whaun Bentley was selected with the 143rd pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
Bentley is a decorated middle linebacker that fought through bad teams, a revolving door and defense coordinator, and a knee injury to finish his Boilermaker career in style.
In the NFL, Bentley projects to be a between the tackles, run stuffing linebacker, and he will have an opportunity to excel in the Patriots hybrid 3-4 scheme that should be able to mitigate some of his issues in the open field. Bentley’s job in New England will be to find the running back and get him on the ground, and that’s the job he is best suited for in the NFL.
In addition, as the only 3 year captain in Purdue history, he has “Patriots player” written all over him. Bentley is a no nonsense, get the job done leader. He might not be a flashy pick, but he’ll be a productive pick and the Patriots are smart to pick him up in the 5th round.
I expect him the make the Patriots roster and push for playing time in his rookie year. I think he’ll eventually end up as a starter because of his physical tools and incredible work ethic.
Picking guys like Bentley in the 5th round is what keeps the Patriots on top, even with a revolving cast of characters on their defense.