Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report: Jalen Tolbert
Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
40-yard dash: 4.49 seconds (57th percentile)
Vertical: 36” (57th)
Broad: 10’3” (65th)
3-cone: 7.08 seconds (65th)
Short shuttle: DNP
Tolbert didn’t start until his senior year at McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, Alabama. He posted a 37-696-9 receiving line that season and was just a 2-star prospect according to most scouting services. Tolbert chose South Alabama over scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Michigan State, Ball State and Massachusetts.
Tolbert took a medical redshirt in 2017 after suffering a knee injury in the first scrimmage of preseason camp that required surgery. He didn’t find much playing time the following year, totaling just 5 catches on 98 snaps.
Tolbert won a starting job as a redshirt sophomore in 2019, leading South Alabama in receiving scores. He ranked 2nd to junior WR Kawaan Baker in receiving yards and 3rd behind Baker and senior RB Tra Minter in catches. Tolbert’s market shares: 18.1% of the receptions, 27.3% of the yards and 42.9% of the TDs.
2020 brought a breakout campaign. Tolbert hogged 39.9% of South Alabama’s receiving yards, becoming the first player in school history to top 1,000. That was fueled largely by a 225-yard explosion vs. Arkansas State. Tolbert also led the team with his 64 receptions (29.2% share) and tied for the team lead with 8 TDs (44.4%).
Tolbert ranked 28th in Pro Football Focus’ receiving grades among 146 WRs with 50+ targets in 2020. His 2.58 yards per route run was good for 32nd.
Tolbert’s production took another leap forward this past year. He ranked 6th in the country in receiving yards and tied for 23rd in catches. He accounted for 30.4% of the Jaguars’ receptions, 48.0% of the receiving yards and 36.4% of the receiving TDs.
Tolbert improved his PFF receiving grade and yards per route run (3.16), ranking 19th and 12th, respectively, among 251 WRs with 50+ targets last year.
Courtesy of Devy to Dynasty Football
Games watched - Tennessee, Coastal Carolina, 2021 highlights
Tolbert is at his best working downfield. He finished top 6 in the country in targets (37), catches (16) and yards (646) on passes thrown 20+ yards downfield last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
He’s not a track star but has enough giddy-up to put CBs in a trailing position. And he’s a smooth ball tracker.
Tolbert does a nice job adjusting to balls that don’t hit him in stride.
And he has the length and leaping ability to win contested passes.
Tolbert isn’t a dominant route runner in the short and intermediate game. But he’s a smooth mover. And the downfield threat he poses allows him to snap off comebacks and slants in front of back-pedaling defenders.
Tolbert is no nonsense after the catch. He doesn’t have much wiggle but gets upfield in a hurry and can create big plays with his speed.
Tolbert turned in a pair of big seasons – in terms of raw numbers and market shares – over the past 2 years. And his downfield ability pops on tape.
But Tolbert is a relatively old prospect who faced lower-level competition and didn’t break out until his 3rd year out of high school. That suggests that he’s probably closer to his ceiling than most other rookie WRs.
Tolbert has enough size, speed and ball skills to be a big-play threat at the next level. But I don’t expect him to emerge as a primary passing-game target in the NFL. He projects as an inconsistent fantasy producer, supplying some spike weeks but also a bunch of duds.