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Washington Redskins UDFA profile - Jerod Fernandez, LB, NC State

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Fernandez will be fighting for a spot in the ‘Skins defense during camp, but he faces long odds

NCAA Football: Clemson at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Fernandez led NC State in tackles in 2017, with 98, and 8 of them were for a loss.

— Pack Insider


Fernandez doesn’t have a very fast listed time (4.73-4.85 in the 40 yard dash) but he looks very fast on film; he buzzes out to the flats quickly to stop screens and outside runs. Fernandez takes good pursuit angles and diagnoses plays quickly, which is probably why he looks faster on film than his timed speed.

— Hogs Haven


Finding information on Jerod Fernandez was tough, considering he was a 4-year starting linebacker for an ACC team. I thought I’d hit gold when I found an article from an NC State blog that was specifically about Fernandez signing with the Redskins. Despite a banner headline, the article had only two sentences.

I did learn that in 2014 he was suspended for one game when he and some other players got into a BB-gun battle without regard to the fact that they could have put somebody’s eye out.

This account of the incident comes from the LA Times:

North Carolina State suspended seven players — including its leading tackler and a second defensive starter — for this week’s game against Louisville for their involvement in a BB gun incident, Coach Dave Doeren said.

Doeren said the players were playing a game with the BB guns at an off-campus residence last week and “made a mistake in not recognizing that this activity could have resulted in someone being injured.”

Among the suspended players are linebacker Jerod Fernandez and safety Josh Jones — both of whom started the 30-14 home loss to Boston College on Saturday.

Fernandez leads the team and is tied for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 58 tackles, and also has a team-best two interceptions. Jones has 38 stops, one sack and an interception.

Aside from that, and an award for being the ACC linebacker of the week in October, 2014, there’s surprisingly little information available on Jerod Fernandez.

Reading the comments section of BackingThePack.com, I did learn that NC State tied for the second-highest number of players drafted (7) in April’s NFL draft. The Crimson Tide, of course, was first, with — I believe — eleven players drafted to NFL teams.

Without further ado, let’s get to the film breakdown, brought to us once again by Hog’s Haven’s own Gibbs4potus:

Four year starter

Just like Quin Blanding, Jerod Fernandez started for four years in college. He led the team in tackles as a senior and finished second in tackles two of the other three seasons at North Carolina State. Fernandez is a durable player who didn’t miss games to injuries.

Fernandez, unedited

Fernandez didn’t have any cutups available on YouTube but he had 3-4 highlight reels. The problem with highlight reels is that you don’t get to see the bad plays. Therefore, I watched cutups of Fernandez’s teammates, Airius Moore, Bradley Chubb, Kentavious Street, B.J. Hill and Justin Jones to get an unedited look at him.

Fernandez doesn’t have a very fast listed time (4.73-4.85 in the 40 yard dash) but he looks very fast on film. He buzzes out to the flats quickly to stop screens and outside runs.

Fernandez takes good pursuit angles and diagnoses plays quickly, which is probably why he looks faster on film than his timed speed.

Fernandez has good instincts and is able to usually set himself up in position to make the tackle before blockers can cut him off. He struggles, though, when offensive linemen are able to get to him between the tackles as he is very small for an inside linebacker (6’0”, 227 pounds). When able to avoid blocks, Fernandez is a very good tackler.

Syracuse v North Carolina State Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Caveat emptor

It is important to note that Fernandez played with a very good defensive line in front of him; Chubb was the fifth pick in the draft and Hill, Jones and Street were all drafted also. Fernandez also rotated every other series in some of the six games that I watched.

How would he fit with the Redskins?

When NC State played Marshall, they went with a defense similar to the Redskins 4-2 nickel for most of the game. Marshall played multiple wide receivers to spread out the defense.

Fernandez rotated series with Germaine Pratt through the game at what would be the Jack LB in the Redskins system, and he looked very comfortable in that role.

Jerod Fernandez is a good pass defender, but wasn’t used in single coverage down the field much. He could provide competition for the dime linebacker role with the Redskins. Josh Harvey Clemons wasn’t used much on defense for the Redskins in that role in 2017, but he is bigger and faster than Fernandez and played safety during his college career.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Personally, I don’t think Fernandez has much of a chance of making the Redskins 53 man roster. He has a decent shot at making the practice squad though.

To earn a spot on the 10-man PS unit, Fernandez will need to show that he can handle NFL offensive linemen during the preseason for the Redskins .

A season of learning, and an offseason in the strength and conditioning program, could help Fernandez adapt to the much bigger and faster NFL.

Redskins off-season losses from LB depth chart:

  • Trent Murphy
  • Junior Galette
  • Chris Carter

Redskins off-season additions to LB depth chart:

  • Pernell McPhee, veteran free agent
  • Shaun Dion Hamilton, 6th round draft pick, Alabama
  • Jerod Fernandez, UDFA, NC State

Here are some tweets from Jerod Fernandez’s Twitter feed:

Poll

As UDFAs go, rate Jerod Fernandez

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    A
    (27 votes)
  • 22%
    B
    (98 votes)
  • 53%
    C
    (238 votes)
  • 16%
    D
    (71 votes)
  • 1%
    F
    (7 votes)
441 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How good are the chances that Jerod Fernandez is on the Redskins roster in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Pretty strong
    (11 votes)
  • 6%
    Above Average
    (27 votes)
  • 25%
    50/50
    (108 votes)
  • 66%
    Unlikely
    (284 votes)
430 votes total Vote Now