Packers 2018 Draft: Interview with Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 2: Linebacker Josey Jewell
IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 2: Linebacker Josey Jewell /

Ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft, we spoke to potential Green Bay Packers target, Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell.

From growing up on his family farm in small town Decorah, Iowa, to becoming one of the most productive Big Ten linebackers in recent memory, Josey Jewell brings an impeccable work ethic and a relentless determination to the next phase of his football career.

The 6-foot-2, 236-pound linebacker leaves Iowa as one of the school’s all-time leaders in tackles (437), including three straight seasons with 136, 124, and 126 stops. He’s also the only Hawkeye to ever be named as a three-time team captain.

Boasting a well-balanced game, Jewell is a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine, but he’s also a reliable defender in coverage, registering 26 pass defensed over his three-year starting career.

Now, at the doorstep of his NFL career, Jewell is preparing to impress coaches and scouts during the pre-draft process.

Jewell’s film is nothing short of impressive, and the high football intelligence and instincts he consistently demonstrates should aid him well at the next level. Teams value the intangibles a player like Jewell possesses.

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He enters the spring as one of the top linebackers prospects in the draft class, and the small town Midwest kid should be a player on the Green Bay Packers‘ radar come draft day.

With this in mind, I recently reached out to the former Iowa linebacker, and he was kind enough to take a few minutes and speak with me about his strengths as a player, what he could improve going into the next level, and which NFL players he likes to study and learn from.

Enjoy what Jewell has to say. He could very well be a player that lands in Green Bay this spring.

Q. At Iowa, you were highly productive as a four-year starter and a leader of a very good Hawkeyes defense. What has your time at Iowa meant to you and what made you so successful in that program?

Jewel: My time at Iowa is something I’ll cherish forever. I have to give credit to my teammates and the program which helped develop me into the player I am today. When I came into the program I wasn’t the biggest guy and coach Doyle and the other strength and conditioning guys got me bigger and faster. Also the position coaches I had were amazing and allowed me to put in extra time in the film room whenever they were available.

Q. You’ve been widely regarded as one of the top linebackers in the country the last couple of years. How do you plan on transferring this success over to the NFL?

Jewell: Just to keep working hard, staying focused and not let anything distract me.

Q. What jumps out on tape about your game is your high football intelligence and ability to quickly read and react to plays. To you, what has been the key to excelling in this aspect of the game?

Jewell: I take pride in watching film and studying the details of an offense. Some people binge watch Netflix, but I binge watch opponents.  

Q. Gives us a brief scouting report on yourself. How would you define your style of play? What are your strengths? 

Jewell: I’ll let the scouts do the evaluating as I’m pretty critical of my game and always looking for improvement in every aspect.

Q. As you turn your attention to beginning your pro career, what areas of your game would you like to improve?

Jewell: I believe I can improve in all areas because you can never master something perfectly in life. There is always something you can do better. But one area specifically would be in the passing game which is more demanding and complex at the next level.

Q. With the NFL Draft coming up this spring, what do these next few months look like for you? Is there anything you can do in this time to get the attention of teams and scouts and maybe raise your draft stock?

Jewell: Just keep working. I just focus on the things I have control over. 

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Q. What are your expectations when it comes to the NFL Draft? Do you have a specific round or spot you’d like to be selected in, or do you try not to worry about it?

Jewell: That will all take care of itself.

Q. The Green Bay Packers will be looking to improve their linebacker position this spring, and they have a long history of selecting defensive players from Iowa. What would it mean to you to be drafted by a team like the Packers this spring?

Jewell: It would be an honor being chosen by the Packers or 31 other teams. No matter where I end up I’m going to give everything I have to the game and that team.

Q. Are there any current or past NFL players you like to study or model your game after?

Jewell: A lot of the guys I have focused on for most of my career are Iowa alumns. For example, Pat Angerer, Chad Greenway, Christian Kirksey, and Anthony Hitchens. These guys emulate who I want to be and what I stand for.

Q. Finally, when you’re not playing football, what do you like to do in your free time? Any favorite hobbies?

Jewell: I love to go hunting and fishing in my free time. Also, if we are in season and I have free time I’m usually watching tape on opponents, which oddly enough has become a hobby of mine.

Next: Packers: 12 players that need to go this offseason

*We’d like to thank Josey Jewell for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish him the best of luck going forward!